Alessia Cara, Reklaws among musicians helping Kids Help Phone's youth crisis campaign

TORONTO — A new Kids Help Phone fundraising campaign that aims to expand online mental health services is getting a boost from some big names in music.

More than 50 Canadian artists joined together to record a song and video in support of Feel Out Loud, a campaign addressing youth mental health concerns exacerbated by the pandemic.

The single and video called “What I Wouldn’t Do (North Star Calling)” brings together Alessia Cara, Serena Ryder, Johnny Orlando, JP Saxe, The Reklaws, Tobi, Jully Black and more.

Kids Help Phone says young people have connected with their services 14 million times since January 2020.

Primary concerns are anxiety and stress, relationship issues, depression, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of isolation. The organization says people who experience racism are among the most distressed, second only to those who fear harm in their home.

With the campaign, organizers are calling on corporations, community groups and individuals to donate and help raise $300 million so they can expand virtual care and clinical services.

In a statement Thursday, financial institution BMO said it would give $15 million to the cause.

The song “What I Wouldn’t Do (North Star Calling)” combines the lyrics of Ryder’s song “What I Wouldn’t Do” with the bridge from Leela Gilday’s song “North Star Calling.”

Along with the musicians, it also includes children’s choirs from the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver and the Chief Jimmy Bruneau School in Behchoko, N.W.T.

Kids Help Phone offers free, confidential and multilingual services through, the phone line 1-800-668-6868 and by text at 686868.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press