Hon. Laurel Broten, Ontario Minister of Education and Minister of
Children and Youth Services, joins in on launch
TORONTO, Dec. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Kids Help Phone today released the Always
There mobile app - a powerful tool for young people across Canada to
more easily reach professional counsellors, access clinically-sound
information and provide them with important features to support their
social and emotional health.
The innovative mobile app was developed with the assistance of youth
over the last year and with financial support from Bell Let's Talk, The
Jack Project and other Kids Help Phone donors.
"It was important for us that the Always There app be developed in
collaboration with youth," said Sharon Wood, President and CEO of Kids
Help Phone. "Our clinical philosophy is to recognize kids' own
strengths and input in finding solutions that are right for them. This
app helps them connect with professional insights, but also helps them
share some of their own answers and solutions with other kids. It sends
a strong message that, no matter who or where you are, someone cares.
You're never alone."
Passcode protected, the app encourages users to read up on emotional
health and relationship topics, such as anxiety, depression, abuse in
the family, and helping a friend. And it also offers direct links to
direct phone or online links to Kids Help Phone professional
"Kids' Help Phone is walking the talk with their new mobile app Always
There. I certainly can see this as a tool which could be promoted by
parents, educators and mental health service providers to help young
people track their feelings and learn coping strategies," explains Dr.
Ian Manion, Executive Director, Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child
and Youth Mental Health. "By involving youth in meaningful ways
throughout its development, they've created something very worthwhile,
relevant and engaging. It's a good first step towards using technology
to help young people monitor their own mental wellness and get help
when and if they need it."
The Always There app is being released just in time for the holidays,
when many young people may be feeling vulnerable. Reaching out for help
can be difficult at any point in the year, but especially around the
holidays when young people don't know how to cope with their own
sadness, loneliness or anxieties and when the pressure to celebrate can
The Honourable Laurel Broten, Ontario Minister of Education and Minister
of Children and Youth Services, was on hand for the unveiling of the
Always There app. The event took place at Artscape's Ada Slaight Hall
in downtown Toronto.
"It is very appropriate that the new app is called 'Always There'
because Kids Help Phone has always been there for youth," confirms
Minister Broten. "The new app represents the next step in the
continuing commitment of Kids Help Phone to the well-being of young
people, and provides youth with one more way to access their trusted
Being there through technology is an organizational priority for Kids
"By using the power of wireless - a technology young people are
increasingly most comfortable with - the Always There app succeeds both
in improving access to care and fighting the stigma that keeps so many
people from getting the help and support they need to achieve their
full potential," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental
health initiative. "As a founding supporter of Kids Help Phone, Bell is
proud to be a part of this creative and very relevant initiative."
"At The Jack Project, we know we can't transform the way we support kids
today with yesterday's tools," explains Eric Windeler, Founder, Lead
Volunteer, The Jack Project. "That's why we were thrilled to provide an
early investment to help create this unique app for young people, not
only to improve access to professional counselling services, but also
to ensure young people participate and understand how to help
The first phase of the Always There app includes English versions
available for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. A French version and
additional features will come in phase two, expected in early 2013.
About Kids Help Phone
Since 1989, Kids Help Phone has been Canada's leading online and phone
counselling service for youth. It's free, it's anonymous and
confidential, and it's available any time of the day or night, 365 days
a year in English and in French. Professional counsellors support the
mental health and well-being of young people, ages five to 20, by
providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources. As a
community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core
government funding and relies on community and corporate support to
fund its essential and vital service.
To learn more about Kids Help Phone, please visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.
You can also follow us at
"ALWAYS THERE" FACT SHEET
The free "Always There" app is available for download at the iTunes App
Store, and Google Play Store, on Wednesday, December 19, 2012.
The app connects users to Kids Help Phone professional counsellors via
phone or live chat at the touch of a button.
The app features indispensable content from Kids Help Phone's Info
Booth; a library of clinically endorsed information on many of the
important issues kids deal with today.
EXCLUSIVE MOBILE FEATURE: The Feelings Log allows users to practice
identifying their feelings and helps them better understand possible
reasons why they feel this way. By choosing one of 41 feelings icons,
users can log their feelings as many times a day as they choose, and
this information is recorded on a monthly calendar.
EXCLUSIVE MOBILE FEATURE: The Stress Buster enables users to scroll
through inspirational quotes, self-care tips and jokes; more than 200
were submitted by users online. Additionally, users can choose to add
their own tips, which will then appear on their own devices, and they
can choose to send these tips anonymously to Kids Help Phone where they
will be vetted, and if appropriate, added to the app.
Inviting young people to make meaningful contributions to programs and
policies that impact their own lives, Kids Help Phone prioritized youth
engagement during the app development. Part of this youth engagement
involved working with mindyourmind based in London, Ontario who
facilitated two workshops with young people - one at the beginning of
the app development process where they developed ideas for the main
features of the app, and one towards the end as they gave feedback on a
working version of the app.
Kids Help Phone is leading the way with Canada's first app connecting
youth to professional help and support. It is the newest way for kids
and teens to stay connected to Canada's leading professional youth
counselling, information and resource service.
Being there through technology is an organizational priority; the
"Always There" app was made possible with financial assistance from
Bell Let's Talk, The Jack Project and other Kids Help Phone donors.
"When you ensure the Always There mobile app is pre-loaded onto a mobile
gift, you'll be giving more than a device - you'll be giving a young
person in your life the gift of support that's always there." says
Alisa Simon, VP Counselling Services and Programs, Kids Help Phone.
"Whether kids turn to their parents, or choose to talk to their friends,
teachers, or other trusted individuals, asking for help is a sign of
independence and strength, and it's an important part of learning to
cope." says Maria Montanaro, professional counsellor, Kids Help Phone.
"Now, with the Always There app, young people have another way they can
find the help and support they need, whenever they need it."
Developed by SpeakFeel Corporation, the first phase of the app includes
English versions available for iOS, Android and Blackberry
devices. French version and additional features are scheduled for early
SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
For further information:
Pascale Guillotte, Director, Communications
Phone: (416) 581-8974 -- Cell: (647) 231-5378