Kids Help Phone today launches Feel Out Loud, a historic, national movement anchored by a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $300 million to reach young people in every corner of Canada by 2024 by expanding access to its e-mental health services.
As part of today’s announcement, Kids Help Phone’s founding partners Bell Canada and BMO Financial Group have each pledged a transformational investment of $15 million to this movement. Their commitment will allow Kids Help Phone to scale e-mental health access to support in communities across Canada. Further, Mirko Bibic, President and CEO, BCE and Bell Canada and Darryl White, CEO of BMO Financial Group stand as Honourary Co-Chairs of the Feel Out Loud Campaign Cabinet.
Young people have connected with Kids Help Phone more than 14 million times since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as Canada’s only national free, confidential, 24/7, multilingual e-mental health service dedicated to youth.
The primary concerns of youth seeking mental health support are anxiety and stress, relationship issues, depression, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of isolation. These concerns have become increasingly complex over time, necessitating additional support. For instance, according to data from Kids Help Phone, individuals who experience racism are among the most distressed service users, second only to those who fear harm in their home.
Additionally, these young people who experience racism are more likely to express suicidal ideation. Feel Out Loud is the most significant and urgent movement for youth mental health in Canada’s history, rallying the entire country to invest in youth mental health, shaping the future for young people in Canada. As technology continues to change, Kids Help Phone will scale its e-mental health coverage and realize a future where every young person in Canada can access safe and trusted support without obstacles, especially those who face barriers to accessing mental health supports to meet a diversity of need and issues. The $300 million raised will allow Kids Help Phone to:
- Expand clinical service across Canada by rapidly scaling access to mental health services that meet the extraordinary, unique needs of all youth.
- Close the mental health equity gap for youth in Canada with investments in e-mental health solutions to create services and programs where equity-deserving communities can feel seen, heard and safe.
- Transform Canada’s e-mental health landscape for youth and mental health through investment and innovation in virtual care by continuing to expand and evolve the virtual care system, powered by data, research, partnership and advocacy.
To kick off the campaign, Artists for Feel Out Loud, a collective of 50+ music artists from across Canada, have come together to record an anthem in support of Kids Help Phone’s initiative to help all young people in Canada feel out loud and express their emotions in a safe and supported way. Music produced by Bob Ezrin and executive produced by Randy Lennox (Loft Entertainment) and Carrie Mudd (Peacock Alley Entertainment), the anthem titled “What I Wouldn’t Do (North Star Calling)” weaves Serena Ryder’s inspiring message and profound lyrics from the song “What I Wouldn’t Do” with Leela Gilday’s sonically beautiful bridge from “North Star Calling'”. The anthem’s accompanying music video, produced by Peacock Alley Entertainment, is also available today at 12 p.m. EST will have its broadcast premiere on March 4, 2023 on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app at 8 p.m. EST ahead of the Buffy Sainte-Marie documentary, Carry it On.
Now more than ever, Feel Out Loud calls on philanthropists, corporations, community organizations, extraordinary individuals and families to realize this goal of $300 million.