TORONTO, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - "I've been bullied so muchh.. Everyone bullies me because of my weight
and my skin color.. I'm native and don't fit in.. There was this clique
that had all of my BFF's but the clique was only for whites so I
couldn't be aparrt of itt.." - actual post from kidshelpphone.ca
Over the past two years, Kids Help Phone has made concerted efforts to
better serve young people from Aboriginal communities. Since this
time, Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors have noted an
anecdotal increase in calls from Aboriginal youth.
Because Kids Help Phone is anonymous and confidential and does not track
personal information, this increase is partly attributed to
counsellors' heightened awareness and improved abilities to recognize
and perceive Aboriginal callers. This rise could also be due to Kids
Help Phone users choosing to disclose personal details, at their own
Kids Help Phone's increased efforts to be there for Aboriginal youth was
furthered in 2010, after the organization recognized the need to
strengthen its understanding of the feelings and issues Aboriginal
youth struggle with. Kids Help Phone wanted to enhance its service
offerings for these young people, ensuring the help they get when they
contact Kids Help Phone is reflective of their feelings and values.
Part of these ongoing efforts involved collaborating with the National
Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) to develop Aboriginal bullying
tip sheets for parents, teachers and youth, available online now at http://www.naho.ca/publications/topics/bullying.
This year, Todd Solomon, Kids Help Phone's Clinical Director, English
Language Services, was invited to sit on the national Aboriginal Youth
Suicide Prevention Committee, part of the National Association of
Friendship Centres that represents over 100 off-reserve communities,
marking an important step in Kids Help Phone's promise to be there for
This month, Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors are available to
talk to the media about issues concerning Aboriginal youth in time for
National Aboriginal Day on Thursday, June 21, 2012.
Why we want to talk about this
- Kids Help Phone is often the only free, anonymous professional phone
and web counselling service available to youth in many of Canada's
- 1 in 4 Aboriginal children live in poverty compared to 1 in 9 in the
- National rates of suicide among Aboriginal youth are estimated to be
five to six times higher than among non-aboriginal youth1.
- 46% the Aboriginal population in Canada is under the age of 24.
- Kids Help Phone collaborated with the National Aboriginal Health
Organization (NAHO) to develop Aboriginal bullying tip sheets for
parents, teachers and youth, available online now at http://www.naho.ca/publications/topics/bullying.
What our experts are saying
"Last year, Kids Help Phone promised Aboriginal youth that it would be
there for them no matter what," says Jessica Weiser, Director,
Knowledge Mobilization & Program Development. . "In 2012, we continue
to uphold that promise by putting the knowledge and training we've
received into practice when assisting Aboriginal youth when and how
they need help most. Our counselling approach with Aboriginal youth has
been informed by the youth themselves and leaders in their communities.
This has allowed us to keep our services relevant to young people who
are depending on Kids Help Phone to be there when no one else is."
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is 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 referral. 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
1 Sayt K'üülm Goot - Of One Heart - Preventing Aboriginal Youth Suicide
Through Youth and Community
Engagement, Child and Youth Officer for British Columbia, March 2006.
SOURCE Kids Help Phone
For further information:
To set up an interview about Aboriginal youth and the critical service Kids Help Phone provides, please contact:
Liz Worth, Communications Coordinator:
1-800-268-3062 ext. 8955