January 17, 2022 5:41am
Local mental health experts are welcoming the reopening of schools to in-person learning Monday.
Supervisor of Youth Awareness and Education with the Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services, Jackie Ralph, says it’s great news.
“Kids need other kids,” said Ralph. “We know that for sure. That’s how we learn about friendships, and getting along with eachother, and doing our best in school. All of those things that are part of being kids and teenagers are found under that roof.”
Ralph says the quick pivot to virtual learning earlier this month was especially hard. Students didn’t know how long the lockdown would last and when they would be going back to school.
“The biggest part of that that makes it hard is not having those answers.”
The best resource according to Ralph “has been and always will be” Kids Help Phone.
“All those that work at Kids Help Phone are trained counsellors,” she said. “To be honest, this is $300 dollar-an-hour counselling that you can get 24/7, 365 days a year, at any time.”
Kids Help Phone is available to any up to 25-years-old. Ralph says the increase in calls to the service is an indicator of just how hard the pandemic has been on youth. In 2019 the service had two million calls. In 2020 the number of calls jumped to four million.
If you are a youth “struggling with a problem big or small” you can call 1-800-668-6868 or visit kidshelpphone.ca and chat with a live counsellor.
Adults in need of counselling services can call 211 for services available in their area.
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