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

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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

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