Thousands of people in 25+ communities across Canada expected to participate in the annual Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO
TORONTO, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - On Sunday, May 4, thousands of Canadians will be heroes for youth by participating in the Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO. With events in 25+ communities and taking place at the beginning of mental health week, the Walk is Canada's largest in support of child and youth mental health and well-being. Money raised through the Walk ensures Kids Help Phone can continue to be there for kids with its anonymous and confidential professional counselling service on a 24/7, 365 days-a-year basis.
This year, those participating in the Walk are invited to sport superhero masks or costumes as a show of strength and belief that when like-minded people join together a powerful message is communicated: we walk together to make our world a more supportive place for children and youth. Leading up to the event, supporters are invited to download and decorate a superhero mask, take a selfie with it on and share it on social media using #BeAHero and tagging @KidsHelpPhone.
"Thanks to all of our walkers, donors, volunteers and sponsors – who are indeed heroes -- Kids Help Phone is able to be there for young people at any time of day," says Sharon Wood, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. "This year marks the 25th anniversary of Kids Help Phone and the start of our telephone counselling service – a service that has grown and evolved and, through technology innovations, has enabled kids, teens and young adults to find the help and hope they need, in the ways they most want to receive support. The Walk helps makes sure our counsellors can continue to make a difference in the lives of children and youth every single day."
Every day, more than 500 children and youth aged five to 20 reach out to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors by phone and online for help with issues such as family and peer relationship concerns, anxiety, bullying, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. The service is free and available across Canada.
In an evaluation of its service conducted by Kids Help Phone in 2011/12, 91 per cent of youth who used telephone counselling said they received the support they had hoped for and 96 per cent said they would call Kids Help Phone again if they needed help.
For the second year, Kids Help Phone welcomes BMO Financial Group as the presenting sponsor of the Walk. BMO has been an active supporter of Kids Help Phone since 1989, helping it develop into Canada's leading professional youth counselling service as well as a recognized world leader. Last year's Walk drew almost 9,000 walkers and raised over $3 million for Kids Help Phone.
"It's an honour to once again be the presenting sponsor of the Walk so Kids Can Talk. We are proud to have been there 25 years ago when Kids Help Phone started and to still be there today," said Connie Stefankiewicz, Head, North American Channel Strategy and Solutions, BMO Financial Group. "Sunday, May 4 is a special day for us, when our employees and others in communities across the country get together and have some fun and raise funds, while supporting an important cause: young people's well-being."
In addition to presenting sponsor BMO, the Walk is supported by national sponsors LoyaltyOne, Nestlé Canada, Parmalat and Bluenotes, community engagement partners Bell and Bell Aliant, and media partner Bell Media.
To register for the Walk or to make a donation visit www.walksokidscantalk.ca or call 1-800-268-3062.
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for its expertise in providing vital, innovative counselling services to children and youth in communities across Canada. Since 1989 it has offered children, teens and young adults a critical lifeline of hope and support, through its free, anonymous and confidential service. Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone, in English and French. Kids Help Phone's internationally recognized, award-winning websites offer online counseling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care.
The Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO takes place in the following locations:
Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer
Fraser Valley, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Victoria
Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's, Stephenville
Barrie, Chatham, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Mississauga, Niagara, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peterborough, Pickering (Durham), Sarnia, Toronto, Windsor and York Region
Prince Edward Island
SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
For further information: or to set up an interview with a Kids Help Phone representative, contact: Norma Meneguzzi Spall, The Results Group PR, Office: (416) 686-9110, Mobile: (416) 209-1216