More than 50 Canadian artists have collaborated to record an anthem in support of Kids Help Phone’s largest youth mental health campaign.
The single “What I Wouldn’t Do (North Star Calling)” was released on Thursday and includes over 50 artists from across the country. The video for the song was also released and shows a compilation of artists singing into a microphone.
Artists involved in the anthem include Alessia Cara, JESSIA, Johnny Orlando, JP Saxe, Rêve, Roy Woods, The Reklaws, TOBi, Tyler Shaw and more. Both the song and video were produced by Bob Ezrin, Randy Lennox (Loft Entertainment) and Carrie Mudd (Peacock Alley Entertainment).
The star-studded anthem and video are in support of the Feel Out Loud initiative with the purpose of increasing the conversation around mental health and empowering young people.
The song uses lyrics from Serena Ryder’s “What I Wouldn’t Do” and the bridge from Leela Gilday’s “North Star Calling.”
“What I Wouldn’t Do” is a song about love, and I think learning to love ourselves is our most important journey in life,” Serena Ryder said in a news release on Thursday.
“I want to let young people know that it’s okay to not be okay, and there are caring, supportive people who are there for them, no judgement, no issue too big or too small. I hope as you listen to this song, you will be reminded we all have of our own struggles and needs, but help is available, Kids Help Phone is there,” she added.
The Feel Out Loud campaign has a fundraising goal of $300 million to expand access to Kids Help Phone’s e-mental health services throughout the country by 2024.
All collected proceeds generated from the single will be donated to Kids Help Phone, which is a national free, confidential, 24/7, multilingual e-mental health service dedicated to youth.
The charity’s founding partners, Bell Canada and BMO Financial Group, have each pledged $15 million to the movement.
“Keeping your feelings in can weigh you down. Since we took the first calls in 1989, young people’s challenges have become more complex. Still, 75 per cent of young people tell Kids Help Phone something they’ve never told anyone else before—which lets us know that they trust us,” Katherine Hay, President & CEO of Kids Help Phone, said in a statement.
“Feel Out Loud is about breaking down barriers to mental health services and supports by creating more space for young people to express themselves, feel seen, heard, and have their feelings validated safe from judgement, in the ways that work best for them,” she added.
Young people have connected with Kids Help Phone more than 14 million times since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the release.
Youth who experience racism are among the most distressed service users, second only to those who fear harm in their home, according to Kids Help Phone data.
Eighty-six per cent of young people feel better after connecting with the helpline.
For more detail about the campaign, visit Kids Help Phone’s website.