LGBTQ youth are some of the most potentially vulnerable young people in Canada. This June, Kids Help Phone launches new tools to increase support to this often under-served community - AZTV7/Cable 13, Me-TV 7.2, HSN 7.3, Phoenix-Prescott, AZ

LGBTQ youth are some of the most potentially vulnerable young people in Canada. This June, Kids Help Phone launches new tools to increase support to this often under-served community

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SOURCE Kids Help Phone

TORONTO, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Although exploring one's sexual identity can be an ongoing process, it can be particularly complex for LGBTQ youth – young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or questioning – as they realize they may have to cope with stigma, discrimination, and social intolerance.

LGBTQ youth often face many challenges that contribute to putting them at greater risk for violence, abuse, isolation, mental illness, homelessness, and suicide. As a frequent first-point of contact for these young people, Kids Help Phone is enhancing its support for LGBTQ youth with the launch of new information, tips and tools at kidshelpphone.ca. This initiative was generously funded jointly by TD Bank Group and Ecclesiastical Insurance Office.

For teens, Kids Help Phone's newly updated Sexual Orientation content includes practical information that can also be helpful to LGBTQ youth and their parents, teachers, and peers. Visitors can learn more about what sexual orientation is, learn about the process of coming out, how to be an ally of LGBTQ youth, and much more.

Both kids and teens can learn about the definition of gender, how gender is expressed, and what they can do if they feel like a different gender than the one that was assigned to them at birth.

And Gender-Bread World is Kids Help Phone's newest interactive tool, available exclusively at kidshelpphone.ca to help young people understand gender identity and aspects related to gender.

Young people can build their own Gender-Bread person and learn about gender identity, gender expression, attraction, and biological sex. The goal of this tool is to educate users on the complexity of gender identity, providing them with an explorative and creative way of learning more about this topic and themselves.

"Questioning and exploring sexual identity can be complex for young people," says Alain Johnson, Clinical Director, French Language Services. "LGBTQ youth can experience confusion, anger, be scared, feel alone or even isolated and have low self-esteem; it's crucial that they have a range of resources, some safe space, to help them feel supported and help them find the answers they are looking for. In some communities in Canada, Kids Help Phone is the only professional counselling service available 24/7 to LGBTQ youth. No matter what they are struggling with, we want them to know that Kids Help Phone is there, on the phone and online."

Did you know:

  • 16% of Kids Help Phone clients self-identify as LGBQ
  • 4% of Kids Help Phone clients self-identify as transgender
  • LGBTQ youth are approximately three times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth
  • Studies show that 10% of secondary school adolescents reported being unsure of their sexual orientation (Williams et al., 2004)

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for its expertise in providing vital, innovative counselling services to children and youth in communities across Canada. Since 1989 it has offered children, teens and young adults a critical lifeline of hope and support, through its free, anonymous and confidential service. Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone, in English and French. Kids Help Phone's internationally recognized, award-winning websites offer online counselling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care. A community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone relies on community and corporate support for the majority of its funding. We're there for the 6.5 million young people in Canada, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English and in French.

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