MYS & Kids Help Phone partner to connect more youth to mental health supports

Winnipeg, MB - July 18, 2019 - Macdonald Youth Services has partnered with Kids Help Phone to put Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone into the hands of Manitoba youth with access to FREE, 24/7 texting and on online directory of community resources.

The new partnership comes as Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone marks 100,000 texting conversations in Canada.

"MYS is committed to reaching more youth in our province with the mental health support they need, where and when they need it most, in ways that suit them best," said Kerri Irvin-Ross, MYS CEO. "And since more and more youth are opting to connect by text, Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone gives youth that option - just in time for summer, when they may be struggling with changing routines, isolation and other challenges."

Kids Help Phone research says 42 per cent of youth would rather write than speak about their problems and 71 per cent prefer non-verbal communication like texting.

To access the FREE service, youth simply text MYS to 686868 using a text or SMS-enabled device. All texts are directed to trained volunteer Crisis Responders at Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone who offer immediate and confidential texting support. Professional supervisors are also available to provide volunteers with real-time coaching and manage escalated situations, should an active rescue be required.

No data plan, internet connection or app is necessary, making it ideal for rural and remote communities where unreliable internet connections and limited data plans may be barriers.

Click here for our new searchable, online directory of mental health resources and community support also powered by Kids Help Phone.

With 70 per cent of mental health issues known to begin in childhood and adolescence, early intervention can lessen or prevent issues from worsening. By maximizing access to vital youth mental health services and supports, Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone and community resource database will help ensure small issues can be addressed before they become larger issues.