On Thursday September 1st at 12pm EST, YouthRex will present a webinar entitled Supporting Trans Youth Wellbeing.
Description from the YouthREX website:
Transgender youth experience significant barriers to wellbeing. Join Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC), and Jay Jonah, Master of Social Work student at York University and YouthREX Research Assistant, to discuss recent research that can support the removal of these barriers.
In this webinar, Dr. Saewyc will provide an overview of key findings from the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey. Jay Jonah will share an overview of a YouthREX report on Trans Youth and the Right to Access Public Washrooms that includes practical recommendations for youth sector programs and organizations.
Ontario Online and Text Crisis Services program (ONTX) recently marked a year of service to their communities, and shared data with constituents in their latest newsletter. In the report they describe response to the program as “overwhelmingly positive” while allowing contact with many individuals who otherwise would not have reached out for help.
Some key findings:
- Total chats and texts: 8,921
- 75% of visitors were under 24 years old, while that same demographic makes up a very small portion of their phone callers
- Over 200 specialists trained to take chats and texts
- They receive an average of 5 suicide-related contacts each time the service is open
- More than half of visitors said that in the absence of an online emotional support service like ONTX, they would not have spoken to anyone about their problem
For a full look at the released findings click here, or read a summary here. Want future updates from ONTX and other services of DC Ontario? Be sure to sign up for Distress and Crisis Ontario’s newsletter by emailing your request to .
We’re thrilled by the success of our friends at ONTX, though it comes as no surprise to us that they’ve had this response. The caring people at the Distress and Crisis Ontario have been providing listening support and crisis intervention to Ontario for nearly 50 years. Their latest step to make their services available in a way that works for everyone in need demonstrates their commitment to helping people and saving lives.
We held a webinar on May 12th on the subject of compliance in texting for non-profits, with telecommunications attorney Martha Buyer and Neil McKechnie, iCarol co-founder. There’s an incredibly complex set of rules and guidelines both from the government and the telecommunications industry to negotiate in the U.S. Our attendees asked a number of great questions during the webinar, which we’d like to address in this blog. And if you missed the presentation, you’re welcome to check it out at your convenience by watching the recording.
We’ll start with the one question that was arguably the hottest during the webinar:
“Who can grant permission to text?”
Many of you either operate a texting line for teens, or are planning to do so. As we learned in the webinar, asking permission to text is the right thing to do, and permission should be granted from the person who owns the phone contract. However, permissions can be a grey area as most teens do not own their phone contract. And you could lose trust with teens if you request permission from the parent or guardian.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Are there questions that you have? We’d like to hear from you! Leave us a comment below, and let’s get the conversation started.
An interesting take on the preference for texting over talking can be found in this article by Bizzuka.
Some key points to take away:
- Smartphone owners aged 18-24 send and receive 4,000 messages per month.
- 43% of 18-24 year-olds say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation with someone over the phone.
- 42% of teens say the primary reason they have a cell phone is for texting. Safety was second at 35%.
These and other statistics about millennials are sourced here.
Millennials aren’t the only ones who text, though. According to Factbrowser, statistics reveal that US smartphone owners who use text (92%) send an average of 111 messages per week, and 49% of those who use social media daily would rather text than call someone.
More evidence that texting is not a fad but rather an often preferred mode of communication that’s here to stay.
A youth’s teen years can be such an exciting time in her or his life. Enjoying some independence for the first time, beginning to plan for and think about the future ahead, and of course often this is a time when youth first experience romantic relationships and even love.
Unfortunately this is not a positive experience for all teens. According to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, one in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. According to the organization Break the Cycle, teens that experience abuse in a relationship are more likely to abuse drugs, drop out of school, engage in high-risk sexual behavior, act violently and even attempt suicide. The repercussions of such dating experiences as a teen can unfortunately follow them into adulthood as well, as without the proper support and intervention they typically find it difficult to change those abusive patterns as they become adults, and thus are more likely to continue to experience abuse in their adult relationships.
It’s important that we spread awareness of the issue, as lack of awareness is contributing to the prevalence of the problem. According to one study, 81% of parents say that they don’t think teen dating violence is an issue or they admit they don’t know if it’s an issue. And only one third of teens who experience this type of relationship ever tell a trusted adult about it. It’s up to us to recognize the signs and engage youth on the topic.
Check out the infographic below for even more about teen dating violence, as well as these great sources of information so that members of your community can learn more about Teen Dating Violence and how to prevent it:
About Teen Dating Violence Month
Love Is Respect
Break the Cycle
We love sharing stories of the great work you and your volunteers and staff are doing in communities all around the world. This week we noticed this article in the Toronto Star highlighting the work of the Good2Talk Program, a partnership between ConnexOntario, Kids Help Phone, Ontario 211 and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.
The transition to post-secondary education can be a tough one for many youth. Stress comes from all sides, from overwhelming tasks at university, time management issues, social and romantic struggles, pressure to get good marks, financial struggles, being away from family and other support systems, and much more. All of these issues can be compounded for students who may additionally be living with diagnosable mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.
Good2Talk aims to provide these students with a free and confidential place to talk, where they can be connected with professional counselling, information and referrals to mental health, addictions, and other human services, and receive general listening and suicide prevention services. Read more…
There are a lot of conversations that parents dread having with their kids, but conversations about sex are notoriously difficult. And while conversations about healthy relationships should go hand in hand with “the talk,” that’s a step that many parents miss. In fact, three out of four parents haven’t talked to their kids about domestic violence, and 81% of parents believe that teen dating violence isn’t an issue, or they admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
But it is a very important issue. One in three teens will experience some form of abuse from someone they date, including physical, sexual or verbal abuse. About one in five women and almost one in seven men who experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner first experience some sort of partner violence as a teen or adolescent. As future generations grow up and start dating, it’s important that they have the proper education and understanding as they enter into relationships – and know how to identify and avoid ones that are unhealthy or dangerous.
February is Teen Dating Violence month, and February 4th is ‘It’s Time to Talk’ Day, a day when we encourage parents, advocates, mentors, and other adults to talk to their teens about dating violence. Helplines are trusted sources of information for kids and teens, and so we encourage you to check out these resources and share them as needed.
It’s Time to Talk Day Conversation Guide and Talk-a-thon Guide
Dating Violence Warning Signs
Dating Violence 101
Do you have more resources to add? Share them with everyone by leaving a comment below!