Youth can access mental health help service by text

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Young people prefer texting to talking and in order to ensure mental health is available to them, a free bilingual texting service is being rolled out across the country by Kids Help Phone.

The charitable organization is introducing the 24/7 texting support option through a service partnership with US-based helpline and technology pioneer Crisis Text Line.

A pilot project begun in February in Manitoba and select provinces has logged more than 13,000 texting conversations between young people seeking help and trained volunteer crisis responders.

The most common issues affecting young people were anxiety, relationships and feelings of isolation.

Twenty-four per cent of texters reached out because of suicidal thoughts.

The confidential service is accessible by texting TALK to 686868 for an English-speaking crisis responder and TEXTO to 686868 to reach a French-speaking counsellor on any text/SMS- enabled cellphone.

The texting service requires no data plan, Internet connection or app.

This service will hopefully give immediate help to young people in crisis. -CINEWS

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