SMS Counselling For Young People

Expanding Kids Helpline’s Counselling Platforms

Who helped us out?

57%

Females (5-15yrs)

20%

Females (16-25yrs)

15%

Males (5-15yrs)

5%

Males (16-25yrs)

3%

Trans & Gender Diverse (10-25yrs)

What’s their access to phone technology like?

73%

Under 10’s have no access to a phone at all

33%

10-12 year olds have no access to any kind of phone either

91%

13-25 year olds have access to smart phones

11%

10-12 year olds can only access landline or non-internet enabled phones

(N=346)

16-25 year olds

96%
Smart phone
2%
Non-internet enabled phone
1%
Landline
1%
No phone access

(N=638)

13-15 year olds

88%
Smart phone
1%
Non-internet enabled phone
2%
Landline
9%
No phone access

(N=355)

10-12 year olds

56%
Smart phone
3%
Non-internet enabled phone
8%
Landline
33%
No phone access

(N=39)

5-9 year olds

27%
Smart phone
0%
Non-internet enabled phone
0%
Landline
73%
No phone access

When asked about what type of mobile phone plans they were on

57%

Said they have unlimited texts

43%

Did not have unlimited texts or weren't sure

“Some young people may be concerned over potential text costs, so Kids Helpline will work with telecommunication carriers to identify how costs can be removed”

– Tracy Adams, CEO

Their previous experiences with virtual counselling

32%

Had used phone or web counselling before

34%

of all female respondents

19%

of all male respondents

Had used some form of virtual counselling

The older the respondent, the more likely they were to have used some form of virtual media for counselling.

65%

(N=986)

were interested in SMS counselling

72%

(N=321)

of those who had already tried virtual counselling were interested

62%

(N=665)

of those who had never experienced virtual counselling were still keen to give SMS a go!

Even the boys were keen!

Despite 81% of boys having never used virtual counselling, 52% of this group said they would be interested in using SMS

(N=157)

“In our experience, boys are less likely to ask for help. We see SMS as a great opportunity to connect with more boys.”

– Tracy Adams, CEO

What could SMS counselling look like?

What could it get used for?

Young people wanted to use SMS for

Young people wanted counsellors to use SMS to

*Young people could select multiple options

Young people told us their preferred times for SMS counselling were 

EVENINGS

followed by

AFTERNOONS

They also said they would most like to be replied to within

10 to 60 minutes.

However, almost one in four said that responding "anytime" was fine.

What's next for Kids Helpline?

We're currently “testing the waters” with a pilot SMS outreach service offering known clients information, referrals, appointment reminders and ‘check-ins’, rather than two-way counselling type interactions.

The results of this survey show young people have a strong interest in SMS counselling. Kids Helpline will endeavour to use the design elements requested by young people in any future expansion of the SMS pilot.

To all those who participated, THANK YOU for your input!