COVID-19 Update for Peer Support HelpLine

COVID-19 Update for Peer Support HelpLine

Posted on March 17, 2020

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As the situation around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves rapidly, LGBT YouthLine is continuing to adapt and determine how we can keep our Peer Support HelpLine open while ensuring our staff and volunteers are able to physically isolate to reduce transmissions. Staying open as a HelpLine feels especially important now, as many 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Ontario will be further isolated, in social isolation with families that may not be supportive, and not able to access in-person programs as most have had to cancel.

 

As of Wednesday, March 18th we will moving our HelpLine to operate as a fully remote service. We will continue to be open Sunday-Friday 4-9:30pm EST, however, our service will operate with the following changes: 

  • Our service will only be available via chat, text and email – phone support will not be available as our phones are at our physical location; and 
  • Our wait times might be a bit longer – we are seeing an increased demand for services like ours at this time. 

 

We know how important our service is and we will do what we can to stay open, and to continue to provide confidential and anonymous peer support to 2SLGBTQ youth across Ontario. We will continue to make updates, if and as things change and evolve. Following our social media, website news feed, or signing up for our e-Newsletter will keep you up to date.  

 

As an organization, we are grateful to our peer support volunteers, shift supervisors and staff (all of whom are also 2SLGBTQ youth) who have been committed and passionate to help us find and implement solutions to stay open. Moving a HelpLine service from a physical location to an entirely remote operation is no easy feat – we thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we work through changes and challenges as they come up. 

 

Reminder, that our service is not a Crisis Line so if you are looking for Emergency/Crisis Lines, please visit our Resource Database and select ‘Crisis/Distress’ and ‘Phone/Chat/Text’. 

 

Lastly, we recognize that this is a difficult time for many in our communities. Isolation is something our communities are way too familiar with – with physical gatherings for 2SLGBTQ youth being limited/entirely absent, we need to work harder to make sure that physical isolation doesn’t mean social isolation. As your capacity allows, please reach out to friends, loved ones, and community members – ask them how they’re doing, setup online hangouts, and offer support. If you are someone that needs support, reach out! Our communities are resilient and experienced in having to collaborate, resource-share, and be creative in times of need. 

 

With love and care, 

YouthLine Team 


Peer Support HelpLine 

Sunday-Friday 4-9:30PM EST 

Text: 647-694-4275 

Chat online: www.youthline.ca 

Email: askus@youthline.ca 

 

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