A year ago yesterday Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone launched nationally in English and French and remains Canada’s only 24/7 service to conduct conversations exclusively by text. Since launch we have had over 140,000 texting conversations with young people, we are speaking with Canadian youth from coast-to-coast-to-coast every single day.
Over the year we have learned a lot from young people. The most discussed topics include: relationships, anxiety/stress and depression. We also know that young people are more likely to discuss suicide and suicide-related issues through our texting service. When it comes to lives impacted, we perform an average of 10 active rescues every single day – an active rescue is helping a young person in a moment of crisis or imminent risk. Think about it. That’s hundreds and hundreds of families and communities across Canada that could have woken up to a very different day. We are saving lives.
“Thank you. Today was a really hard day and I had no one to talk to, until I remembered this service. You talked me out of suicide and now I’m feeling much better. I’m going to try my best to enjoy tonight. People like you are the brightest lights in this world, so helpful and necessary. Thank you so much.” Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone Service User.
“Research has uncovered that young people would rather write than speak about their problem and 71 per cent of young people prefer a non-verbal form of communication such as texting” says, Katherine Hay, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. “Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is as an essential e-mental health solution for young people meeting them on a platform they prefer – we save lives every single day.”
Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone uses algorithms allowing us to predict the severity of a texter based on machine learning analysis. This means we respond to high-risk texters in under five minutes, even in high volume times. And thanks to our texter triage algorithm, we know that words like “Ibuprofen”, “Tylenol”, and “bridge” are four times more likely to lead to a high-risk conversation than “suicide” or “shooting”.
Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is provided to young people by trained, volunteer Crisis Responders who engage in empathetic listening to help bring a texter from a hot moment to a cool calm. Paid, professional Texting Supervisors monitor in real-time the texting platform and are ready to step in should a situation escalate. Currently we have a community of over 1,300 trained Crisis Responders and welcome more Canadians to join our team. For those interested, please visit: kidshelpphone/ca/text.
The free, 24/7 texting service is accessible immediately to youth anywhere in Canada by texting TALK to 686868 to reach an English-speaking Crisis Responder and TEXTO to 686868 to reach a French-speaking Crisis Responder on any text/SMS enabled cell phone.
Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone requires no data plan, internet connection or app. For many young people, (especially in rural and remote communities) lack of privacy, unreliable internet bandwidth, and limited data plans make it difficult for them to communicate by phone, thus the need for reliable, accessible communication.
Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is made possible thanks to our founding donor, Canada Health Infoway and Shail Silver and supporters including: Bell Let’s Talk, BMO Financial Group, Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects, Great-West Life, RBC Foundation, The Co-operators Group Limited, TELUS, and three anonymous donors.