“Hello! I’m Kip – How can I help you?”

Kids Help Phone launches new way to access mental health support for youth

TORONTO, ON (March 2, 2021) Kids Help Phone partners with the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation to launch a new tool to build greater access for young people in Canada.

The Navigation Technology Program, known as Kip, was made possible by a donation from the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation to Kids Help Phone. The introduction of Kip will further promote and assist help seeking behaviour by young people, especially those looking for support but who may not be ready to speak to a professional counsellor or crisis responder.

“As more young people seek mental health support digitally, The Navigation Technology Program powered by the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation at Kids Help Phone will increase availability and efficiency – putting services at the fingertips of young people when they need it most,” said Christina Sharma, daughter of Patrick and Barbara. We are delighted to partner with Kids Help Phone and we share a commitment to providing young people with a best-in-class digital user experience.”

Introducing chatbot technology to Kids Help Phone’s gateway portal (website) will help young people as they navigate the website and improve their experience when seeking a resource that best fits their needs at any given moment.

Kids Help Phone speaks to young people every single day in every province and territory. As the only 24/7 bilingual and national e-mental health service in Canada, Kids Help Phone understands first-hand that for some young people, seeking mental health support is not easy to do, or even figure out. Kip will help young people explore and find support across the gateway portal at their own pace, without barriers.

“Kids Help Phone’s gateway portal has extensive resources, self-directed tools, articles and relevant content – all created by the clinical teams at Kids Help Phone. Kip will help everyone – from kids to parents to teachers to caregivers to anyone seeking mental health resources – navigate through what can be a daunting and intimidating process to seek help” said Katherine Hay, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. “Through the generous support of the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation, young people have a navigation tool, Kip – to give them a helping hand in their journey through Kids Help Phone’s trusted, clinical gateway that has proven to improve mental health and well-being.”

Available in both English and French, the chatbot’s capabilities aim to further support the needs of youth. It is part of Kids Help Phone’s larger stepped-care model of services where youth have the opportunity to engage with clinically approved content on their terms through the service that is right for them.

In 2020, Kids Help Phone provided mental health support over 4.5 million connections with youth from coast to coast to coast through phone, text, live chat and self-directed resources through the gateway portal. Compared to the 1.9 million connections in 2019, this increase highlights the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of maximizing access and continuously innovating to meet the needs of young people wherever they are on their mental health journey.

Special thanks to Canada Health Infoway, who is both a founding partner of the Navigation Technology Program powered by the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation and a major supporter of Kids Help Phone’s Innovation Imperative, including founding partner to Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone and Kids Help Phone Insights. Kids Help Phone is grateful to many other generous donors from across Canada through our annual giving program and to the Werklund Foundation. With the incredible support from our donors, Kip will help young people of Canada navigate through some of their most challenging times.

For more information, or to engage the chatbot, visit kidshelpphone.ca


ABOUT KIDS HELP PHONE

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support in English and French to young people. As the country’s virtual care expert, we give millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over phone or through text or in self-directed supports in any moment of crisis or need. Through our digital transformation, we envision a future where every person in Canada is able to get the support they need, when they need it most, however they need it. Kids Help Phone gratefully relies on the generosity of donors, volunteers, stakeholder partners, corporate partners and governments to fuel and fund our programs. Learn more at KidsHelpPhone.ca or follow us:

Twitter: @KidsHelpPhone

Facebook: @KidsHelpPhone

Instagram: @KidsHelpPhone

ABOUT THE PATRICK AND BARBARA KEENAN FOUNDATION

The Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation supports many worthy causes. The Foundation’s support of the Kids Help Phone chatbot technology is part of its ongoing commitment to improving mental health care for youth.

ABOUT CANADA HEALTH INFOWAY

Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinician. Infoway is an independent and not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government.

ABOUT THE WERKLUND FOUNDATION

The Werklund Foundation promotes the Werklund family’s philanthropic mission to transform communities by inspiring youth to achieve their full potential. The Werklund Foundation partners with like-minded organizations to achieve the highest possible impact on our community’s most important asset, the upcoming generation.

Media Contact

Constantina Ellinas, Communications Manager, media@kidshelpphone.ca