Government of Canada Funds Kids Help Phone to Expand Mental Health Services for Young Afghans and Ukrainians

TORONTO, June 20, 2022 / CNW / – Recognizing the enormous challenges facing people fleeing conflict, the Government of Canada seeks to improve access to basic mental health services for vulnerable newcomers. Since 1989, Kids Help Phone has been providing free, 24-hour, confidential mental health resources to young people across Canada.

Today, on World Refugee Day, the Honorable Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, announced a contribution agreement with Kids Help Phone to provide counseling services to young Afghans and Ukrainians in gift, Pashto, Ukrainian and Russian. These new services meet the urgent needs of young people fleeing conflict Afghanistan and in Ukraine. The Minister visited the children’s helpline office Torontowhere he saw firsthand how funding provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) was used to expand telephone counseling services for Afghan and Ukrainian youth.

The funding is part of a larger $ 2 million deal that will help Kids Help Phone gradually expand its professional telephone consulting service to 100 languages ​​by 2025 through translators and complement the Arabic and Chinese translation added in 2019.

Cultural and youth-focused mental health counseling is just one way to support Afghan and Ukrainian families arriving in Canada.

The IRCC funds more than 500 service providers throughout Canada to provide settlement services to permanent residents, including displaced refugees and Ukrainians arriving in Canada under a Canadian travel permit.Ukraine. Many of these providers offer direct support to young people. This support includes, but is not limited to:

  • help during and after school;
  • recreational activities;
  • leadership and mentoring programs;
  • assistance with advanced training and preparation for employment.

The IRCC continues to work closely with provinces, territories and service providers across the country to accept vulnerable newcomers and help them adjust to life in Canada.

Photos from today’s event can be found in Dropbox.


“Canada has a long history of welcoming and supporting the world’s most vulnerable people. To help newcomers adjust to life in Canada, we must provide them with access to the resources they need to overcome past trauma and rebuild their lives. Creating this safe, accessible and culturally appropriate space for vulnerable youth is particularly important, and this funding will help ensure that those fleeing the conflict, including Afghans and Ukrainians, receive the support they need to reach their full potential in Canada. »
– Dear Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Since 1989, the Kids Help Phone has been a safe place for young people struggling with mental health or addiction in Canada. The funding announced today will allow the organization to continue this tradition and provide young newcomers with access to culture-appropriate mental health support based on trauma in their own lives. Language is an invaluable asset for young people who have already faced many difficulties. »
– Dear Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction and Deputy Minister of Health

“Making online mental health support more accessible to all young people across Canada by offering multiple languages ​​is an important step in ensuring equal access for the most vulnerable. We are grateful for IRCC’s support and vision for expanding Kids Help Phone’s language offerings to meet critical needs and add more languages ​​in the coming months. »
– Catherine Hay, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone

Quick facts

  • Kids Help Phone has been providing youth health services in Canada since 1989.
  • The IRCC will provide a total of $ 1,966,143 2022 and 2025 under the Settlement Program to help Kids Help Phone expand its services by adding more languages.
  • Ukrainians who come to Canada as temporary residents under an emergency travel permit to Canada-Ukraine have access to settlement services, which are usually reserved for permanent residents.
  • The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan citizens as quickly and safely as possible. Canada has so far received more than 16,000 Afghan refugees, and more are arriving each week.

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SOURCE Immigration, Refugees and Canadian Citizenship

For more information: Media-only contacts: Aidan Strickland, Spokesperson, Office of the Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, [email protected]; Media Relations, Communications, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, 613-952-1650, [email protected]