Polite Canada Logo

Walk across seventeen communities to support youth well-being

The first Sunday of May each year marks the largest gathering of people across Canadian provinces as they walk 5 kilometers together at “BMO Walk so Kids Can Talk” to support youth and their well-being. Canada’s Kids Help Phone is a free and confidential e-mental health care service available 24/7 to young Canadians. This multilingual service offers mental health support to young people through phone, text, and online resources.

For 35 years, Kids Help Phone has offered a safe place to generations of young people who can “Feel Out Loud” about any issue, big or small. May is the Mental Health Month in Canada which marks a momentous time to focus on staff and student mental well-being. The week of May 6th to the 12th is Mental Health Week in Canada.

Allison Fitzgerald, Development Officer of Regional Philanthropy and Partnerships – Eastern Canada at Kids Help Phone, notes that about 40 percent of interactions with counselors involve dealing with anxiety and stress. Since the onset of the pandemic, engagement has surged and in 2023 alone, Kids Help Phone handled over four million interactions, a significant increase from the 1.9 million interactions recorded in 2019. The organization aims to raise $300 million by the end of 2024 to expand its support to more young Canadians.

This year’s walk, held on May 5th, took place in cities including Barrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Mississauga, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Saint John, Saskatoon, St. John’s, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and the York Region. To learn more about Kids Help Phone and how you can contribute, please visit their website.