A percentage of children are suffering in silence here in Canada, but one free support system called Kids Help Phone is open to them, 24 hours a day.
The anonymous service provides counselling both on the phone and online for youths who want to talk to someone, regardless of the issue. A vital service for children, research has shown Kids Help Phone significantly improves youths’ mental health.
As a non-profit organisation, Kids Help Phone operates on the support of donors and members of the public through fundraising events like Walk So Kids Can Talk.
In an interview with Daily Hive, Meghan Kavelman explained why the walk is so important to her.
“This will be the thirteenth year I am the team captain for team Adam2000 and it’s something I plan to continue to do every year moving forward.
“Kids Help Phone and the walk are very special to me and my family because 17 years ago this May we lost my brother to suicide and we want to help create awareness of Mental Health issues and the ways you can help to overcome them.”
While devastated at the tragic loss of her brother Adam, Meghan and her family made a personal goal to find the positive in every negative.
“Losing a brother and best friend was devastating and something that stays with me every day. It is tough to do sometimes, but there really is a positive aspect to take from every negative experience, and I think recognizing this and practicing this can really help in so many ways.”
Meghan believes that talking about your feelings and staying positive are among the best things you can do when experiencing a traumatic loss.
“When I lost Adam, I always made sure to keep myself busy and it really helped. The more time you have being alone and sad, the worse you feel. When you have a negative thought, think of a positive one to match it, call a friend to chat, go outside for a walk and get some fresh air. Do what you need to do to get past that moment and move forward in a positive way.”
Together, Meghan and her family have worked to raise both mental health awareness and much needed funds for Kids Help Phone. Over the past 17 years in total, they have raised more than $125,000.
“We have taken Adam’s memory and our loss and made it public. We had a website in his memory, which my Mom especially has dedicated time to helping those who have reached out. We have raised over $60,000 in the past 13 years just by Walk So Kids Can Talk. And we raised an additional $65,000+ through charity golf tournaments and through scholarships at Lawrence Technological University, which is where Adam went to school for architecture.
“My Mom went back to school and became a counsellor and even worked for Kids Help Phone for a period of time. She now has her own personal practice in Ontario called ‘Transformations’ and she continues to help those in need.”
As it’s her thirteenth year participating in Walk So Kids Can Talk, Meghan feels strongly about the importance of the event, and encourages others to register. By walking, you’re joining a little community that’s a lot of fun.
“The event brings everyone together and helps not only to raise money for a great cause, but most importantly awareness for mental health issues. It’s such a fun experience for kids. It shows them that there are so many other people out there that share the same types of feelings and emotions, and that we join together to overcome it.
“It is amazing that Kids Help Phone can be there to help all those who may not be able to talk to their friends and family or those who may not have anyone to talk to at all.”
And if you need a team to join, Meghan says “team Adam2000 welcomes you.”
By participating in the sixteenth annual five kilometre Walk So Kids Can Talk event next month, you can help support children’s mental health by fuelling Kids Help Phone.
With walks kicking off at Yaletown’s David Lam Park, and Holland Park in Surrey, you’ll be able to join one near you. Walking solo, or in a group, you’ll have a ton of fun walking for a great cause.
When: May 7, register 10 am, walk 11 am
Where: David Lam Park – adjacent to Yaletown Roundhouse Station
or Holland Park – adjacent to Surrey Central SkyTrain Station
Price: Free. Register, fundraise and donate online
Daily Hive is a proud media sponsor of Walk So Kids Can Talk