Since February, KIJHL alum Myles Mattila, founder and director of the MindRight for Athletes Society, has sat on the Kids Help Phone National Youth Council (NYC).
Mattila is among approximately 20 youth nationally involved in the new initiative focusing on building a strong foundation for the National Youth Council to offer more meaningful opportunities to contribute to the work of Kids Help Phone. The council will play an important role in shaping what this will look like.
Kids Help Phone website and services include mental health tips and information, crisis support, professional counseling, quizzes, games, activities, support forms & real-life stories and more for all ages.
“I was truly honoured to have the chance to collaborate with like-minded individuals. To break down barriers surrounding mental health and create new initiatives to help youth in need,” said Mattila, a former Kelowna Chief. “If they are in a critical situation, they do need to seek support within their community. Kids Help Phone is a resource, but is not a substitute for medical attention.”
The NYC is a group of young individuals aged 14-24 who are passionate about mental health and well-being and Mattila is grateful to have the opportunity to join. The challenges facing young people in Canada have grown more complex, and youth need access to the supports that are most relevant to them. To achieve the NYC vision, it’s critical that they meet these challenges quickly.
For over 30 years Kids Help Phone has evolved their response and offerings. It concentrates on staying relevant to youth, recognizing the complexity of issues they face, and helps ensure their professional counselors and volunteer crisis responders are ready to address young people’s continuum of emotional and mental health needs, from crisis situations to everyday concerns of growing up.
Mattila accepted the council position because he wants to bring his insight from an athlete perspective, as well as his work with MindRight for Athletes Society.
“I have great insight regarding athletes on how I could possibly give some input of my past, my history of promoting and raising awareness on mental health,” he said. “That was the main reason why, especially with collaboration, I want to see what other challenges or barriers other individuals might be having within their community.”
At 23, and a student at Okanagan College, Mattila has insight with post-secondary students and wants to make sure there are accessible mental health resources for youth, people in post-secondary or any individuals that are in a smaller community that might not be able to access professional help.
“Kids Help Phone is very accessible on their computer or cell phone,” he said.
Kids Help Phone’s e-mental health services are available 24/7 across Canada. This means that we’re here for kids, teens, and young adults from coast-to-coast-to-coast by calling 1.800.668.6868 or text 686868 or www.KidsHelpPhone.ca.