Kids Help Phone continues its commitment to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis young people from coast to coast to coast with renewed action plan
The 2023-2026 action plan builds on Kids Help Phone’s progress to enhance e-mental health services for young First Nations, Inuit and Métis people that are equitable, accessible and culturally attuned.
Since the first version of Finding Hope launched in 2019, KHP has made tremendous progress. But, as always, we still have a long way to go. Legacy and ongoing colonization continues to have a damaging impact on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of young Indigenous people.
Iqaluit (NT), October 3, 2023 — To continue addressing equity gaps in e-mental health care and strengthen its commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, Kids Help Phone (KHP) is launching Finding Hope: KHP’s 2023-2026 Action Plan for Supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis young people. Working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people and organizations, KHP will take 32 specific actions that will achieve six ambitious goals to enhance mental health support for young Indigenous people that it is equitable, accessible and culturally attuned.
Under the leadership of the KHP Indigenous Advisory Council, the Kids Help Phone Indigenous Initiatives team will implement the 2023-2026 Finding Hope Action Plan.
Through focused outreach strategies, Kids Help Phone will expand trust and public awareness of its services among Indigenous communities. Knowing that many Inuit, Métis and First Nations people, particularly in the north, live in remote areas and experience barriers to health services, KHP will develop innovative solutions to service access so young people facing connectivity barriers have offline access to mental health support.
Kids Help Phone will also continue to explore opportunities to enhance emergency referral processes to connect young Indigenous people with safer emergency services that best meet their needs.
Through its 2023-2026 Finding Hope action plan, KHP will launch a third Indigenous program, New Trails (increasing awareness of KHP services in rural and remote First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities through billboards, road signs, arena boards and vinyl wall murals). KHP will expand Brighter Days (an Indigenous wellness program developed by Indigenous educators, school counsellors and community program workers to empower First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth with skills, tools and resources to support their well-being) to include more topics. As well as the Weaving Threads program to include a new “Ambassador” level with more training and responsibilities for volunteers.
Kids Help Phone’s long-standing commitment and action have helped bridge the gap to support young First Nations, Inuit and Métis people with critical e-mental health services, particularly when other community-based services are not available. In 2019, KHP developed its first action plan to support Inuit, First Nations and Métis young people. As part of the action plan, KHP:
- Launched an option for First Nations, Inuit or Métis young people to connect with a First Nations, Inuit or Métis crisis responder when available by texting “FIRSTNATIONS”, “INUIT” or “METIS” to 686868.
- Created access for young people to get support in Nēhiyawēwin (Plains Cree) and Anishininiimowin (Ojibwe) through a translator.
- Offer over 5,000 Indigenous supports listed in Resources Around Me, supported by The Grocery Foundation – the largest interactive tool for youth mental health resources of its kind in Canada.
- Developed online mental health and wellness content for young people in six Indigenous languages.
- Formed two Indigenous programs: Brighter Days: An Indigenous Wellness Program supported by Sun Life and Weaving Threads: An Indigenous Engagement Program.
● Since 2019, Kids Help Phone’s conversations with Indigenous youth have nearly tripled and now account for almost 10 per cent of all conversations.
● Since 2019, Kids Help Phone has served Indigenous youth 47,800 times through text and 80,400 times through community outreach initiatives.
● On average, 89 per cent of young Indigenous people say their conversation with Kids Help Phone was helpful.
● Across Canada, First Nations, Inuit and Métis young people account for 41 per cent of homeless youth, 50 per cent of trafficking victims, 54 per cent of youth in care and suicide rates are among the highest in the world.
“Kids Help Phone’s work to offer relevant, equitable and accessible e-mental health services to young Inuit, First Nations and Métis people will never be done. Fully committed to Truth and Reconciliation, it is KHP’s responsibility to work in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, with the KHP Indigenous Advisory Council leading the way, so all young Indigenous people have access to e-mental health services wherever and whenever they need them most” said Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone.
“Legacy and ongoing colonization continues to have a damaging impact on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of young Indigenous people. Through the implementation of the 2023-2026 Finding Hope action plan, Kids Help Phone’s services can continue to bridge the gap to support young First Nations, Inuit and Métis people with critical e-mental health services, particularly when other community-based services are not available” said Deanna Dunham, Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Equity Programs, Kids Help Phone.
“The impacts of colonization on First Nations, Inuit and Métis people are ongoing, intergenerational and outmatched only by the resilience of Indigenous people. The 2023-2026 Finding Hope action plan outlines bold and achievable goals to unlock the hope Inuit, First Nations and Métis young people need to thrive in their world” said Carole Shankaruk, Indigenous Advisory Council Member and member, Board of Directors, Kids Help Phone.
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 national, e-mental health service offering free, confidential, multi-lingual support to young people. As the country’s virtual care expert, we give millions of youth a safe, trusted space to Feel Out Loud over the phone, through text, or in self-directed supports for any moment of crisis or need. The Feel Out Loud campaign is the largest movement for youth mental health in Canada’s history – it will raise $300 million to unlock hope for young people to thrive in their worlds. 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.
For more information, please contact:
Kids Help Phone
Media Relations and Thought Leadership Manager
[email protected] or 416-560-2932
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