Kids Help Phone has launched Feel Out Loud to raise $300 million to expand access to its e-mental health services and reach every young person in Canada by 2024. The initiative is supported by founding partners Bell Canada and BMO Financial Group, who have each committed $15 million to the cause.
Kids Help Phone is the sole national electronic mental health service for Canadian youth that offers a confidential, 24/7, multilingual support system at no cost. The Feel Out Loud campaign is committed to removing obstacles to mental health services and providing young people with a secure outlet to express themselves and receive assistance for their mental health concerns. The most common issues youth seek support for include anxiety, stress, relationship problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of isolation, with those experiencing racism or fear in their homes among the most distressed service users.
Through its digital transformation, Kids Help Phone envisions a future where every young person in Canada can access mental health support, and the funds raised will be used to expand clinical service across the country, close the mental health equity gap for youth, and continue to innovate in the field of virtual care.
Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has received over 14 million requests for help. “Keeping your feelings in can weigh you down. Since we took the first calls in 1989, young people’s challenges have become more complex. Still, 75 per cent of young people tell Kids Help Phone something they’ve never told anyone else before—which lets us know that they trust us,” says Katherine Hay, president and CEO of Kids Help Phone.
Artists for Feel Out Loud, a collective of over 50 Canadian musicians, has recorded an anthem in support of the campaign. With a pressing need to support the 8.2 million young people in Canada who require a safe and non-judgemental environment to express and explore their emotions, Feel Out Loud urges philanthropists, corporations, community organizations, individuals, and families to join the movement and help achieve the fundraising goal of $300 million.
Learn more and donate here.