Photo: 333 photo
Photo: 333 photo
Photo: Louise Leblanc
Photo: Louise Leblanc
Every year, 52,000 young people and over 14,000 parents receive personalized support right when they need it most
38% of the young people who contact Tel-jeunes are looking for help with mental health issues
In 2018, the Tel-jeunes website received 242,000 visitors, while 373,000 persons visited the LigneParents website
Since their creation, 1,800,000 young people have used Tel-jeunes’ support services, and 500,000 parents have received help from LigneParents
Adolescence is one of the most important stages of human development, as young people face physical, psychological, emotional, identity and relationship changes as they grow into adulthood. This period of change can become a particularly stressful one to navigate, for teenagers and parents alike. To meet the needs of young people and their parents for professional support around the clock, the LigneParents and Tel-jeunes helplines were launched in Québec in 1981 and 1991, respectively. Fondation Tel?jeunes has provided funding for both since 2009.
Since its founding, Tel-jeunes has become a flagship resource for young people in Québec seeking help, information or just someone to talk to. Professional counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via phone, text, email and live chat. Whenever a youngster needs to be heard, supported or informed on any number of subjects, from anxiety, bullying, sexuality, physical changes, to harassment or even suicide, the Tel-jeunes counsellors are there for them. Last year, 52,000 young people got in touch with Tel-jeunes’ counselling and educational services.
The service’s intervention model is based on the concept of “reality therapy.” During every touchpoint, professional counsellors go beyond ready-made answers and instant solutions. Instead, they offer a listening ear, take account of individual situations, dispense useful, relevant, and accurate information, and work with the young to equip them with the tools they need to gain better control over their lives in both the short and long terms. This personalized service enables users to get a grasp of their overall situation and encourages them to choose behaviours that will best help them meet their particular needs.
LigneParents, a 24/7 helpline for parents whose children range in age from newborns to 20, and that can be contacted by telephone or chat, has adopted a similar approach. Its counsellors help with parenting challenges, providing information, guidance and possible solutions in a neutral and judgment-free manner. The service’s website is also a source of important information, notably featuring celebrities sharing accounts of their own experiences of parenthood. Last year, over 14,000 parents used this popular, confidential and free service.
Funds collected through the Fondation Tel-jeunes allow both services to evolve and adapt to the times, to expand their reach and to stay on top of the changing behaviours of young people and their parents. This is achieved by improving their technology platforms to keep up with ever-evolving communications methods, as well as developing and enhancing their programs so that they can reach youth directly in the community.
For example, in 2013, Tel-jeunes became the first counselling service of its kind to add text messaging to its intervention toolkit. More recently, in 2018, LigneParents added live chat to its services, in order to provide another option for those looking for help.
These services’ trainers, constantly on the lookout for new trends in society, lead interactive workshops in schools that are adapted to kids’ real lives.
Those workshops are geared towards three groups in particular: school staff, providing teachers with the educational and psychological tools to discuss sexuality with young people; high-school students, who are offered sex-ed workshops that are dynamic, relevant and provide them the opportunity to raise questions or concerns they may have about sexuality and relationships; and lastly, peer helpers, young people interested in developing their peer-support skills so that they in turn can adopt healthy, responsible attitudes and behaviours, and offer their friends real support. Launched in 2001, Aider c’est branché is a unique program that is part of the Tel-jeunes strategy to promote peer-support groups for young people and the positive impact they can have on their communities.
“Power Corporation is a proud supporter of Tel-jeunes and LigneParents, two essential resources offering young people and parents alike professional and confidential support services when they need it most,” says Isabelle Marcoux, Member of the Board of Directors of Power Corporation, who has been involved in several major Fondation Tel-jeunes fundraising campaigns. “We applaud the work of these counsellors, who are on the frontline dealing directly with today’s realities and who constantly go above and beyond to help young people and their parents grow and thrive.”
“Fondation Tel-jeunes is proud to be able to count on the generosity of its partners in order to continue to develop and enhance our services, so that we can help as many young people and parents as possible,” declares Céline Muloin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. “Thanks to our donors, we have been able to provide support for over 1,800,000 youngsters and 500,000 parents since our founding.”