Kids Help Phone Canada
“Suddenly I don’t feel so alone anymore.” – Bianca
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on children’s mental health. Social isolation, loneliness, uncertainty, stress and parental angst are contributing to a growing mental health crisis among children and adolescents. Katie McLaughlin, a professor of psychology at Harvard, estimated that as many as 22–¯million children in the U.S. alone could bear mental scars from the pandemic.
To support growing mental health needs, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) awarded a grant from the CDP COVID-19 Response Fund to Kids Help Phone Canada. The grant supported Kids Help Phone Canada’s efforts to expand its crisis text line and increase and mobilize its trained volunteer base to provide critical psychosocial support for Canadian children.
Below, Bianca*, a young person who reached out to Kids Help Phone, tells her story in her own words:
“This pandemic has been really hard on my mental health. I feel alone, I miss my friends and I am scared my family might get sick. Today things got worse. I found out that I was in contact with someone that has COVID-19 and I have to go get tested tomorrow.
I was feeling totally overwhelmed with my emotions. I felt anxiety about being tested and was feeling depressed from not being able to see a lot of people. Usually, I would talk to my counsellor about this, but she is not working right now. It’s been really hard not seeing her during these low times.
I have been pushing these feelings down but today it was too much, so I decided to text Kids Help Phone. The crisis responder who texted me back was nice and just let me talk. They even told me that I was brave for texting in. I admit it was hard, but I am glad I asked for help.
They suggested some strategies to cope with the anxiety and showed me some activities on the website I could use if I was feeling overwhelmed again. Most importantly, they told me that I can always text back and someone will be there to support me. They helped me realize that I can get through this and believe that things will get better.
I feel so relieved after texting Kids Help Phone. They provided me the support I needed in that moment. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone anymore.”
CDP is proud to support Kids Help Phone Canada’s efforts to provide mental health assistance to young people in need.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.