With the new school year set to begin Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Government is investing more money into Kids Help Phone.
The phone line provides a mental health resource for young people who may need it and runs all year round. In order to encourage this work, the province has enhanced their funding agreement and will give the organization $225,000 over three years.
This adds out to $75,000 per year and also marks a yearly increase of $27,000 compared to 2021-2022.
The money will then be used for the Kids Help Phone e-help Resources Around Me database, which provides youth with a way to search for counsellors and mental health support in the local community.
Kids Help Phone President and CEO Katherine Hay says the money helps them continue to give kids mental health supports 24/7, 365 days a year. Their resources allow young people to do that in a way they’re comfortable with, either by phone, text or through the new Gateway website.
She adds that this is especially important as they support kids in an uncertain time, as they return to school while also grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government says this adds on to $500,000 committed last year to offer Mental Health First Aid training to school divisions, with the end goal of having at least one trained mental health staff member in Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions.
Young people, families or schools needing an assist from Kids Help Phone can call 1-800-686-6868, text 686-868 or chat online at kidshelpphone.ca.