June 27, 2022

Canada Funds Kids Help Phone to Expand Mental Health Services for Afghan and Ukrainian Youth

Posted by Caroline English - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 20 June 2022, World Refugee Day, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced a contribution agreement with Kids Help Phone to provide culturally sensitive, youth-oriented counselling services for Afghan and Ukrainian youth.[1]

Since 1989, Kids Help Phone has provided free, confidential, and accessible mental health support to young people across Canada.[2] In consideration of the extensive challenges faced by those fleeing conflict, the Government of Canada aims to improve access to critical mental health services for vulnerable newcomers.[3]

This funding is part of a larger $2 million agreement that will allow the non-profit organization to start offering services for Afghan and Ukrainian youth in Dari, Pashto, Ukrainian and Russian and gradually expand its phone counselling services to 100 languages by 2025.

Currently, there are more than 500 service provider organizations across Canada that are funded by IRCC to deliver settlement services to newcomers, many of which offer support aimed at youth.[4] IRCC continues to work closely with provinces, territories, and service provider organizations across the country to welcome newcomers and improve access to settlement services.[5]

“Canada has a proud tradition of welcoming and supporting the world’s most vulnerable. In order to adjust to life in Canada, we need to ensure that newcomers have access to resources to cope with past trauma and rebuild their lives. Creating this culturally sensitive, accessible safe space is especially important when it comes to vulnerable youth, and this funding will ensure that those fleeing conflict—including Afghans and Ukrainians—have the support they need to reach their full potential while in Canada.”

 – The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship