U of G students can now access a new crisis text line that offers mental health support whenever they need it. The text line is powered by Kids Help Phone.
This free service lets students connect immediately via text message with a Kids Help Phone volunteer crisis responder.
To access the new service, text “UofG” to 686868 using your text- or SMS-enabled device.
The service does not require a data plan or Internet connection.
“We want our students to know that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to ask for help,” says Alison Burnett, director of Student Wellness. “This text service is available whenever they need it. We’re delighted to offer another source of support to them.”
All texts are directed to Kids Help Phone’s trained volunteer crisis responders, who will reply to the messages. Kids Help Phone’s professional texting supervisors are also available to provide real-time coaching to the volunteers, and to manage escalated situations should an active rescue be required.
The University of Guelph was selected as the first university to pilot Kids Help Phone’s new crisis text line, which offers free, 24/7 texting support, providing students with greater access to confidential crisis resolution.
Why text-based support? Kids Help Phone research identified that:
- 42 per cent of youth prefer to write rather than speak about their problems,
- 71 per cent of youth welcome a texting option when discussing their problems, and
- Non-verbal platforms (e.g., live chats) are more likely to uncover serious, high-risk mental health concerns.