Foundation launches confidential helpline for kids

| 20/02/2024 | 4 Comments
APF Programme Manager Emily Kelly

(CNS): The Alex Panton Foundation has launched Cayman Kids Helpline for young children and teenagers who need help or support or just someone to talk to. The leading advocacy organisation for children’s mental health in the Cayman Islands said the aim of this dedicated resource was to provide vital support and assistance to young people. Jane Panton, chair of the foundation, said the helpline was launched in response to the growing need for accessible information and confidential support for children, teenagers and their carers.

“Our foundation recognised the importance of providing free and confidential services to youth, their parents and other adults advocating for youth who needed help finding referral information or resources, or just needed someone to talk to,” she said. “Our goal is to provide support and information to help our community keep our children safe, from advice on children’s mental health to support for parents and educators in helping them understand what to do if they’re worried about a child.”

The Cayman Kids Helpline is accessible via its website, app, phone at 649-KIDS (5437),
and live online text service.

APF Programme Manager Emily Kelly said the helpline launched at the weekend. The website and app are now live, and the phone line and text line are going live on Thursday, 7 March 2024.

“The phone line and text line will open Thursday to Sunday, 3pm – 9pm, and will be staffed with trained volunteers who are ready to offer a compassionate ear, guidance and assistance to young people dealing with issues such as bullying, loneliness, academic stress, family relationships, and any other concerns affecting their well-being,” she said.

Dr Erica Lam, an executive member of the foundation, said the organisation had worked with local mental health professionals to create the Kids Helpline website and app content.

“The Kids Helpline website and app hosts tips, information and advice on a range of topics and situations such as anxiety, depression, bullying, relationships, and more,” she said. “This virtual platform will not only be an informational resource for those eager to better support the young people in their lives, but a user-friendly space for young people to learn more about themselves and their mental health.”

She stressed that the phone and text lines are safe and supportive ways for young people to express their feelings and seek help. “The Helpline ensures anonymity, encouraging children to reach out without fear of judgement. Those who reach out can talk through an issue with our trained volunteers, discuss choices and gain help in developing a plan of action.” 

The Alex Panton Foundation invites parents, educators, and other community members advocating for youth to spread awareness about the Cayman Kids Helpline and its crucial role in providing emotional support to children and teenagers across the islands.

“By working together, we can create a safer and more nurturing environment for Cayman’s young people,” Panton said.

The Kids Helpline does not offer therapy or replace therapeutic services in any way. Rather, it offers a confidential and safe place to explore, talk, or chat through mental health matters. It aims to serve as a referral channel, connecting young people and their parents, educators, or caregivers to available resources.

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Category: Health, Mental Health

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    where’s the number?

    CNS: It’s in the highlighted box after the second paragraph.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great moves, thanks and congratulations! How about some initiatives to guide parents on how to effectively limit kids online use (especially of “trash” content), without kids feeling “victimized” by said limits? Some kids are actually lashing-out at parents when their online use is threatened.

    Social media is one of the biggest bullying tools amongst kids these days!

  3. Michael says:

    Well done to all involved!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow! And here is the VERY same thing launched 5 years ago. Except now the APF are taking the credit for it. Whoda thunk it? Reinvent the wheel much?


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