MONTREAL, Feb. 2015 / CNW / - Some 165 students from Ville-Marie College in Montreal attended today the unveiling of the “Help a Friend Who Needs It” guide developed by Facebook in association with the organization Kids Help Phone. The young people present also had the opportunity to discuss with Andréanne Deschamps of the clinical service of Jeunesse, J'écoute and the facilitator Marie-Claude Savard on concrete ways in which they can support a friend in distress, talk to an adult or intervene in an emergency.
This special event which took place within the framework of the 25e Suicide Prevention Week was intended to be the opportunity to tackle a subject that is still widely stigmatized today, but above all to recall the importance of social connectivity for vulnerable people. “When a young person thinks about suicide, he may feel like he is trapped, desperate, and there is no way out. Reaching out to a socially isolated person and letting them know that you care about them is a gesture that could save their life, ”says Andréanne Deschamps, of the Kids Help Phone clinical service. “Unfortunately, even when friends want to help, they don't always know how to go about it. It is therefore essential to equip young people and help them to be part of a system! support for their friends who may be in distress. "
On the side of Facebook Canada, which developed the concept of the guide "Help a friend who needs it", recognizing in online behavior warning signs that may indicate that someone is thinking of suicide, is an important aspect in prevention suicide. Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy, Canada, Facebook added, “We created 'Help a Friend in Need' with Kids Help Phone because we want to make sure friends and family have access to a resource. to know when someone is in distress and to know the steps to take, especially in extreme cases where the person's life could be in danger. Studies have shown that connectivity is crucial for! people with suicidal tendencies - getting in touch and offering support can make all the difference. "
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in Canada (1). In Quebec, 3 people kill themselves every day (2). At Kids Help Phone, 7.1 % of the intervention sessions offered in 2014 were related to suicide; a number which rises to 11.5 % if we only take into account chat, a method of consultation that a large number of young people use to address particularly serious or intense themes. However, while many young people contact Kids Help Phone to talk about suicide, many are silenced.
“15 years ago, distress messages posted online simply did not exist,” notes Andréanne Deschamps of Kids Help Phone. Today, Facebook is an integral part of our lives and we spend a lot of time online. It is therefore important to continue to adapt and reach out to young people in their ways of communicating in order to remain attentive to children, teens and young adults. "
The Help a Friend in Need guide offers simple, practical tips for starting difficult conversations. It also reminds us that the signs that a person may need immediate help are sometimes difficult to interpret online, but it is important to always take them seriously.
Resources available to youth and adolescents:
- Help a friend who needs it - click here to download a copy of the guide
- 1 800 668-6868 - A counselor is always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk about your concerns, big or small.
- Ask your question online - If it's easier to write down what's bothering you, you can ask your question online and get a personalized response from a speaker.
- Info booth - The kiosk offers resources on a variety of topics for youth and for teens, including suicide and related issues.
Kids Help Phone's professional counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to offer support, whatever the question or problem. The confidential and anonymous service is offered to young people aged 5 to 20. Just dial 1 800 668-6868 or visit the site kids help phone.ca.
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian world leader recognized for its expertise and constant focus on innovation. It is the only youth organization available 24/7, across Canada, providing professional counseling and information. Since 1989, we've been providing children, adolescents and young adults with a lifeline through our free, anonymous and confidential service which - research shows - greatly improves the mental well-being of young people. Youth from communities across the country connect with Kids Help Phone through phone, chat and web posting and can be referred through our database of 46,000 local community resources. Kids Help Phone's Always Listening websites and app are seen as role models with their concepts based on therapeutic games, tools and relevant information. Being in constant contact with young people, Kids Help Phone places their perspective and the improvement of their well-being in society at the heart of its work. The organization collects a significant portion of its income from community members, foundations and businesses. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are listening to 6.5 million young Canadians aged five to 20, in French and in English.
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SOURCE Kids Help Phone