Live Chat counselling

Sometimes, it’s easier to share what’s on your mind in writing. Welcome to Kids Help Phone’s Live Chat counselling service.

If you’d like to get support with something on your mind by writing online in the moment, you can connect with a counsellor using Live Chat. It’s anonymous and confidential. (To find out more about what that means, check out our online chat service’s privacy policy)

Our Live Chat service lets you connect online with a professional counsellor in real time in English or French. Live Chat is open daily from 7 p.m. to midnight E.T. We’ll be accepting new chats until 11:15 p.m. E.T. only, in order to help ensure that all conversations are responded to by midnight. If you’re using a mobile phone, please avoid navigating away from the chat window — doing so will end your chat session.

Ready to start your session with a counsellor?

Tap to Chat

How does Live Chat counselling work?

  1. Choose the “Tap to Chat” button on your screen (you’ll see it during Live Chat’s daily open hours). You’ll be asked to fill out a short survey, and then you’ll be entered into a lineup to wait for a counsellor.
  2. A pop-up window will let you know where you’re in the lineup. You may have to wait for a counsellor to join the chat. The average wait time to connect with a counsellor is about 30 minutes. You may find it beneficial to use this time to think about what’s important to talk about with the counsellor.
  3. If you’re using a computer, it’s OK to open other web pages while you wait, but don’t forget to check the chat window from time to time. If you’re using a mobile phone, please avoid navigating away from the chat window — doing so will end your chat session.
  4. When it’s your turn to chat, you’ll see a message from a counsellor in the chat window. Please respond to the counsellor within one minute to keep your session active. An average chat session is about 45 minutes, but it’s important to go at your own pace.
  5. Please note that we’ll be accepting new chats until 11:15 p.m. E.T. only, in order to ensure that all conversations are responded to by midnight. We’re hopeful to respond to you if you’re in the queue by 11:15pm ET.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about Kids Help Phone’s Live Chat counselling service? Check out our FAQ below for more information!

Kids Help Phone’s Live Chat counselling service is anonymous and confidential. (To find out more about what that means, check out our online chat service’s privacy policy, which includes information on duty to report.) During a conversation, one of our counsellors will listen and ask questions to help you navigate through challenges and think about next steps that work for you.

An average chat session at Kids Help Phone is about 45 minutes. Some conversations are shorter/longer, and that’s OK! It’s important to go at your own pace. You may find it beneficial to think about what’s most important to talk about while you’re in the lineup (making a list of priorities can help!).

The average wait time to connect with a counsellor is about 30 minutes. You can check out our other e-mental health support services to find out if they may be an option for you.

Remember, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, it’s important to get support right away. You can contact a safe adult, the emergency services in your area and/or mobile crisis support (if available) for help.

At Kids Help Phone, we want you to feel safe and respected. Our counsellors and team deserve respect and safety, too. We want to let you know that if we notice inappropriate or harmful behaviour during a chat session, we may need to end the conversation. If you have any questions, you can share them with a counsellor or ask to speak to a counselling manager. You can also review our Terms of service for more information.

Live Chat counselling is currently open daily from 7 p.m. to midnight ET. We want to let you now that on occasion, Live Chat may undergo scheduled maintenance. During this time, the service will be closed. If Live Chat is closed, we’ll let you know with a notice on our website as soon as we can with other ways to connect for support.

In order to reduce wait times and help ensure that our counsellors can get to as many conversations as they can, we’ve limited the number of people who can access the service at a time. If you’re unable to access Live Chat counselling when you need it, please try again in a few minutes, or check out one of our other support services. Please note that we’ll be accepting new chats until 11:15 p.m. E.T. only, in order to help ensure that all conversations are responded to by midnight.

Kids Help Phone’s Always There app is currently paused so we can improve our e-mental health support services for young people across Canada. You can still access Live Chat counselling on Kids Help Phone’s website through a web browser, or check out one of our other support services.

Live Chat is very popular, and we have as many counsellors as we can supporting the service. Individual chat sessions often last about 45 minutes. This can result in longer wait times on occasion. You can check out our other support services to find out if they may be an option for you.

Because Live Chat counselling is anonymous and confidential, it works differently than other chat services (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.). There are a few reasons why you may have been disconnected, including (but not limited to):

  • your Internet connection was lost
  • you refreshed the chat window or hit the “back” button by accident
  • you were using a mobile phone and something interrupted your session (e.g. an incoming call/text, sleep mode, opening a new window, etc.)
  • Kids Help Phone experienced an unexpected issue with its connection

If you’d like to continue talking to a counsellor, please try using Live Chat counselling again or call us at 1-800-668-6868.

There are a few reasons why you may be having trouble accessing Live Chat counselling, including (but not limited to):

  • you’re using a device near the Canada–United States border
  • you’re using an American ISP (e.g. AOL, etc.)
  • you’re using a VPN or an IP forwarding service that allows you to access Canadian websites

Your chat conversation with a counsellor is confidential and anonymous. To find out more about what that means, check out our online chat service’s privacy policy, which includes information on duty to report.

Tools to try while you're in the lineup

Tips for taking care of yourself