COVID-19 Update for Peer Support HelpLine

YouthLine’s Frequently Asked Questions 

YouthLine’s Frequently Asked Questions 

Are you a service provider, media industry employee, or student who is curious about our work and organization?  Read on! 

We hope that this webpage will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to YouthLine.

Not sure if you’re on the right page? 

If you’re a service provider looking to spread the word about our Peer Support HelpLine: click here. 

If you work for an organization that wants YouthLine to do a presentation for your staff/service users on our work: fill out this form. 

If you’re a media industry employee looking for an interview or statement: please email info@youthline.ca 

If you’re a student doing an environmental assessment or other project on 2SLGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations, please read the following questions before emailing us for details. 


Where can I read about your mission, vision, and values? 

Here! 

When was YouthLine created? 

1994!  You can read up on YouthLine’s history on our History page and at this digital exhibition by The ArQuives

Who do you serve? 

Youth in Ontario, aged 29 and under.  There are many definitions of youth in the non-profit/NFP sector, but in recent years we have seen many organizations expand their definition of youth from “age 26 and under” to “age 29 and under,” in order to acknowledge that young adults of many ages share certain needs and can benefit from youth-oriented programs and services.

How does your Peer Support HelpLine work? 

We train 2SLGBTQ+ youth to support other 2SLGBTQ+ youth via chat, text, and phonecall.  Volunteer recruitment happens 1-2 times a year.   

Youth connect with us about a range of issues and with a variety of questions.  The benefit of anonymous peer support (distinct from professional counselling/therapy) is that youth can connect with similar-age people who share a community and (sometimes) lived experiences.  This can make it easier for youth to ask questions, talk about problems, and feel heard in their struggles.  Since we are not a counselling service, our volunteers do not require extensive schooling/professional training, and cannot offer advice to youth who chat/text/call in. 

Our volunteers are not trained to response to crisis situations, which is when a youth is in immediate danger of being harmed, harming themself, or harming another person.  When a youth connects with us and is clearly in a crisis situation, we refer them to other organizations, such as local distress centres, KidsHelpPhone, and Trans Lifeline.  

Find out more here. 

Are you an anonymous service? 

Yes, we operate completely anonymously.  We do not ask youth to tell us their name or address, and we do not ask our volunteers to disclose (share) personal information about themselves when they are chatting/texting/calling with youth. 

However, sometimes a situation will happen where a youth will share that they are in danger/being harmed or abused, as well as some kind of identifying information (such as their name and school).  If they are age 18 or under, our volunteers have the Duty to Report to a Children’s Aid Society (child protective services).   

Find out more here. 

How many youth do you support each year? 

You can find those statistics (and much more) in our Annual Reports

Do you run any other services besides the Peer Support HelpLine? 

Yes!  You can find info about our current projects further down on our homepage.   

We also have two ongoing Leadership Programs where 2SLGBTQ+ youth gather, learn new skills, and create projects that matter to them: Provincial Youth Ambassador Program and YouthOrganize

Our staff and volunteers occasionally publish reports, zines, and other cool stuff, which can be found on our Publications page

How do I become a volunteer? 

We post volunteer opportunities on this page.  For the Peer Support HelpLine, we do recruitment 1-2 times a year.  Opportunities in other projects, like our Leadership Programs, will appear on that page or our homepage. 

Are you currently accepting students for placements? 

Not at this time.  We are currently rethinking what a student program looks like at YouthLine, and when we are able to take placement students, we will post opportunities on this page

I came to your website because I’m looking for 2SLGBTQ-friendly healthcare and youth groups. 

Awesome!  We know that it is hard to find trustworthy services and spaces to meet other 2SLGBTQ+ folks.   

Check out our Resource Database to search for 2SLGBTQ+ services by location, service type, and community served.   

How can I support YouthLine? 

You can: 

Thanks for your interest!  Our Peer Support HelpLine and Leadership Programs wouldn’t be possible without the support of many people.