Local students urged to raise their voices and ask for help

CALGARY, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - The fourth annual Kids Help Phone School Tour, presented by Raise Your Voice(TM), Motorola's commitment to helping Canadian youth be heard, visited Alex Munro School in Calgary yesterday, where members of Kids Help Phone's counselling team reminded students there is always someone they can talk to, no matter what the challenge.

Kids Help Phone counsellors Shannon Freud and Shawna Ginsberg talked to students about real-world issues and the importance to know what it means to raise their voices and ask for help. Available around the clock, Kids Help Phone professional counsellors deal with every topic imaginable, and some of the top issues kids shouldn't deal with alone include bullying and concerns about online safety.

A fun and interactive mock call allowed kids to relax and see firsthand what interaction with a counselor feels like. The mock call staged a cyber-bullying situation and generated a strong reaction amongst kids. This reaction did not surprise the counsellors; a front-runner in understanding the issues that are important to young people, a recent Kids Help Phone online survey indicated that over 70% of respondents had been bullied online. Although the impacts of online bullying are similar to the impacts of any bullying, in the case of cyber-bullying, there seems to be a greater sense of powerlessness, frustration and betrayal among victims. More information about this and other Kids Help Phone critical issue reports are available at http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/en/media-centre/critical-issue-reports.

With the growing number of issues that youth in Canada face today - from cyber-bullying, abuse and gang violence to the everyday challenges of being a teenager - it's vital that teens know there is a place they can turn to for help. Students were especially interested in having a discussion about what to do when cyber-bullied. They also wanted to know more about Kids Help Phone's reassurance that all calls and web posts are anonymous and confidential. This resonated strongly with students and instilled the message that they have somewhere to turn in their time of need.

Alex Munro School is one of many Canadian high schools Kids Help Phone is visiting from January to March as part of the fourth-annual Kids Help Phone School Tour. The tour was developed in conjunction with Motorola's Raise Your Voice(TM) program to encourage kids to speak out on issues that affect them.

Kids Help Phone

From sexual abuse to neglect to the death of a parent, Kids Help Phone provides free, confidential, compassionate and professional counselling to every child who reaches out for help - day or night, 365 days a year. Since its founding in 1989, Kids Help Phone's phone and web-based service has helped millions of troubled and abused children and youth by providing counselling, trustworthy information and local community referrals. Established in 1989, Kids Help Phone is a charitable organization.

About Raise Your Voice

Raise Your Voice(TM) is Motorola's commitment to helping Canadian youth be heard. Raise Your Voice encourages Canadian teens to speak up and speak out, to learn how to find their voices and talk about the issues that matter most to them. To help young people do this, Raise Your Voice partners with organizations throughout Canada that provide the resources and support to ensure that when young people speak up, someone is there to listen. Visit www.raiseyourvoice.ca for more information.

CNW Group is proud to be the official newswire provider for Kids Help Phone.

SOURCE Kids Help Phone

For further information: For further information: Virginia Middleton, Communications Officer, Kids Help Phone, National Office, Phone: 1-800-268-3062 ex 8345, virginia.middleton@kidshelpphone.ca; Kathryn Hanley, Hill & Knowlton for Motorola Canada's Raise Your Voice initiative, (416) 413-4754, kathryn.hanley@hillandknowlton.ca

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