New crisis texting service to serve Canadian military children

April 27, 2020 – Defence Stories

A customized crisis texting service has been introduced for the 78,000 children and youth of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members. The Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone is a dedicated texting service that will ensure all children from military families have free access to mental health and wellbeing support in both English and French.

Military children with cell phones can access this service by texting the keyword CAFKIDS at 686868 for service in English or the keyword JEUNESFAC at 686868 for support in French.

This texting service is confidential, free, and available 24/7 across Canada.

Kids Help Phone has verified that all staff and volunteer Crisis Responders have enhanced training and screening to better understand the complexities of the military family lifestyle including the conditions confronting kids in military families. The COVID-19 pandemic can exacerbate existing difficulties for children and youth. A parent’s or guardian’s deployment during COVID-19 may add further to the stress and/or anxiety of their children. Now, more than ever, having the means to stay connected and get support is critical.

This service is available to all serving members’ kids and the children of the 8,000-10,000 transitioning families who are preparing to leave the CAF family each year and who may be struggling with their new identity or with the move to their new communities.

The Crisis Text Line is made available through a partnership between Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services, Kids Help Phone, and True Patriot Love Foundation.

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