Posted by Jordan Grantham
on 22 November 2018
Kids Helpline responded to its 8 millionth request for help from a young person in Australia in November, marking a significant milestone for the country's only free, 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people.
"A young person has attempted to contact Kids Helpline every 56 seconds and on an average we manage to deal with around 800 calls or online request for help every day," Tracy Adams AFSC said, CEO of Kids Helpline/yourtown.
The 8 millionth call to 1800 55 1800 came through late Monday 19 November.
The helpline was founded in 1991 by then yourtown CEO, Br Paul Smith FSC of the De La Salle Brothers, with Br Patrick McCarthy FSC as inaugural Director of Counselling, having studied counselling at Santa Clara University.
"Kids Helpline is now one of the greatest works the De La Salle Brothers have been involved in in Australia," Br Pat told Lasallian Outlook.
"On the first day we realised there was a bigger demand than we ever imagined," he said.
"8 million calls is very gratifying."
The De La Salle Brothers are dedicated to the Christian and human education of young people, especially the poor. Their founder St John Baptist de La Salle is the Patron Saint of Teachers, having pioneered modern schooling and teacher training.
There are over 20 Lasallian schools in Australia, including Oakhill College, Sydney, St Bede's College, Melbourne and St Michael's College, Adelaide.
Tracy Adams AFSC, CEO of yourtown/Kids Helpline, acknowledged the many people who make this enormous service possible.
"We want to take a moment to recognise our dedicated counsellors and the teams behind the call centre, as well as the community, who fund more than three-quarters of our service by buying tickets in the yourtown Art Union prize draws," Ms Adams said.
"While the 8 million figure is an important milestone for us, we know our work isn't done. While we do our very best with the resources we have, more than 186,000 calls and request for help have already gone unaswered this year alone."
21 year old Molly is one grateful Kids Helpline caller, crediting the service for saving her life.
"There are times I know I wouldn't have made it through to the next morning if I hadn't been able to call Kids Helpline," Molly said.
"The counsellors have helped me calm down and are able to get me thinking reasonably again. There's no way I would be here today if it wasn't for the service."
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