COVID-19 has been a weird and stressful time for most Canadians.
Social isolation and incessant news about the pandemic can affect people in different ways, particularly kids, who may not have someone to talk to.
That’s why Turkey Farmers of Canada has donated an additional $80,000 to Kids Help Phone and 4-H Canada.
“The country’s rural and farming communities have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are concerned about the impact on mental health and on our kids,” said Darren Ference, Turkey Farmers of Canada chair, who lives in Monitor, Alta. “These funds will empower Kids Help Phone and 4-H Canada to provide a life-line to youth in rural communities as we continue to navigate these challenging times.”
Kids Help Phone is a 24-hour mental health service, offering support to children across Canada. The Kids Help Phone website has information on coping with COVID-19, and children can text, phone or participate in a live chat to get the help they need. The service also assists young people with the usual challenges of life, such as dealing with a loss and problems with peers.
Demand for the service has increased since mid-March, when schools closed and life changed for all Canadians.
“During these unprecedented times, we’ve heard from thousands of people on their concerns related to COVID-19,” said Katherine Hay, Kids Help Phone president and chief executive officer, who thanked the turkey farmers organization for their financial support.
In 2020, the group has donated $130,000 to Kids Help Phone and 4-H Canada through the organization’s charitable arm – The Wishbone Project.
The contribution to 4-H Canada will support its programs to help youth with their well-being, “including in the area of mental health.”
“Across Canada, 4-H staff and volunteers are committed to supporting youth in a time when a sense of connection and community is more important than ever,” said Shannon Benner, chief executive officer of 4-H Canada. “We are grateful for generous donors like the Turkey Farmers of Canada.”