Hyundai Canada announced it will donate $500,000 to Kids Help Phone over the next two years as part of its ongoing commitment to drive the youth of today forward. The funding will go toward a number of Kids Help Phone programs and initiatives specifically dedicated to supporting Indigenous andBlack youth, such as Finding Hope: Kids Help Phone’s Indigenous Youth Action Plan and RiseUp powered by Kids Help Phone.
As Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service available in English, French and Arabic, Kids Help Phone offes free, confidential support, counselling, information and referrals to young people from coast to coast to coast and has experienced over nine million connections since 2019.
According to Kids Help Phone, youth have consistently been at higher risk of experiencing poor mental health compared to any other age group during the COVID-19 pandemic. Equity-seeking youth including Indigenous and Black youth, are at a particular risk of experiencing mental health challenges. Of the young people who reached out to Kids Help Phone by text in 2021, 7.8 per cent identify as Indigenous and 5.2 per cent identify as Black. In August, RiseUp powered by Kids Help Phone connected with over 200 Black youth who shared that they face significant barriers to service due to systemic racism. They highlighted a resounding need and desire for dedicated support within their communities. Over the course of the next two years, Hyundai Canada’s donation will help fund several Kids Help Phone initiatives specifically dedicated to supporting Indigenous and Black youth.
“Driving the youth of today forward and championing equity to ensure a bright future for all is central to our mission at Hyundai,” said Kirk Merrett, director of human resources and administration at Hyundai Canada. “We are proud to be making this contribution to Kids Help Phone and humbled to be supporting their innovative and inclusive initiatives, which deliver such a crucial impact to young people across the country.”
“Equity-seeking youth have a harder time accessing support for mental health,” said Jenny Yuen, VP, national partnerships and chief youth officer at Kids Help Phone. “Our goal is to create a continuum of barrier-free mental health supports to meet the unique needs of the communities we serve – anytime day or night. Thank you to Hyundai for your unwavering commitment in being there for young people in this country.”
Hyundai Canada’s donation will support Kids Help Phone’s Indigenous Youth Action Plan, developed alongside an Indigenous Advisory Council, which provides Indigenous youth with training, tools and resources to support their well-being, and RiseUp powered by Kids Help Phone, Canada’s first national, 24/7, bilingual e-mental health support service for Black youth built in collaboration with Black community partners and people from across the Afro-diaspora.