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Cayman Kids Helpline Fully Operational Following Launch of Phone and Text Lines

Community 13 Mar, 2024 Follow News

The newly licensed Samaritans trainers for APF and CayMind.

Simon Dwyer, resident trainer with Befrienders Worldwide facilitates training for APF Kids Helpline and CayMind teams.

Alex Panton Foundation has announced the full launch of its Cayman Kids Helpline service which now includes phone and text lines, website and app. The phone and text lines will be manned by trained volunteers each week Thursday till Sunday from 3pm - 9pm. The phone number is 649-5437.

Emily Kelly, Programme Manager, Alex Panton Foundation said the launch of the phone and text lines rounded out a comprehensive mental health support service for the youth of Cayman. 

“We know there’s a strong demand for our young people to have access to safe spaces where they can speak freely about their mental health struggles without fear of judgement,” she said. “Our volunteers are here to offer a compassionate listening ear, allowing callers to express their feelings, and support them by identifying resources available to them.”

Cayman Kids Helpline volunteers recently undertook a 2-day intensive training program facilitated by Simon Dwyer, resident trainer with Befrienders Worldwide, a globally recognised suicide prevention charity and lead trainers for the ‘Samaritans,’ a charity aimed at providing support to anyone in emotional distress through a mental health phone line service.

The APF Kids Helpline volunteers were joined by six volunteers from Caymind, Cayman’s local adult Helpline.

“Both the APF Kids Helpline and CayMind teams have also acquired licenses to train volunteers in the future which is a huge step to ensure the continued growth of our volunteer pools, and ultimately our ability to sustain this important service for the community,” Kelly said. 

The licensed trainers had the opportunity to shadow Dwyer who facilitated role playing in several different scenarios, adding an additional practical element to the certification and establishing consistency in the service offered by the kids and adult helplines.

The Kids Helpline website and app provide online access to information and resources to help the community with common social and emotional issues and challenges. The content has been developed for a variety of target audiences such as kids, teens, parents, caregivers and educators, including important topics such as anxiety, depression, bullying, relationships, abuse and more.

“Local mental health professionals in our Clinical and Education Committee have created an abundance of content on the website at kidshelpline.ky. Quick access to this information without data or Wi-Fi connection is also available through the Helpline app, once downloaded from the Apple and Google Play stores,” Kelly said. 

To access the Kids Helpline textline, click on the ‘let’s chat’ button at the top right side of the website and the app. The Kids Helpline phoneline is available directly by calling 649-5437 on Thursday to Sunday 3pm - 9pm.

For adults who would like to access CayMind’s Adult Mental Health Helpline, call 1-800-534-6463 (MIND) Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Following the upcoming Easter break, CayMind will be changing the operational hours to 5pm to 11pm.


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