Social Impact

Connecting Kids In Canada To Mental Health Care

Defining a vision to empower young people in Canada to own their mental health journey

Mental health awareness has increased in Canada over the past few years, leading to rapid growth of a trusted nonprofit, Kids Help Phone (KHP), well known for its 24/7 helpline. This awareness of mental health has also prompted many new entrants to the field, resulting in an increasingly fragmented and confusing landscape for young people to find the right resources to meet their needs.

Kids Help Phone, founded in 1989, saw a unique opportunity to build on its digital services and innovative care model to become bolder and to empower young people. The group asked Oliver Wyman to help the group better understand the needs of youth, the gaps in the landscape, and what role KHP is best positioned to play.

Working with KHP has been an incredibly rewarding and intellectually stimulating experience. Combining the deep operational and market expertise of KHP, the visionary mindset of the leadership team, and Oliver Wyman’s strategy design methodologies and market insights, we were able to articulate a bold, disruptive vision and strategy with the potential to shape the future of youth mental health in Canada. The stakes for this new strategy are very high, as the lives and wellbeing of young people in Canada are on the line
Damien Renaudeau, Partner, Oliver Wyman

The nonprofit’s mission is to ensure all youth in Canada have access to the mental health care they need, in the way they need it. KHP’s growth is driven by the increased awareness and advocacy about mental health, and also by the deep trust young people have in KHP’s services and by KHP’s focus on building relationships in the sector.

Through organization-wide surveys and leadership workshops, Oliver Wyman worked with the KHP team over 10 weeks to set the group’s long-term vision and create a strategic roadmap.

KHP relies on passionate, courageous, and innovative people to do the important work that we do every day, and Oliver Wyman lived those values alongside us over the last 10 weeks. Oliver Wyman led us through challenging and thought-provoking conversations with grit and tenacity, and above all, put their whole hearts into this work. It was never Oliver Wyman and KHP; we were one team with a shared goal. A truly beautiful partnership
Justin Scaini, Vice President, Strategy and Transformation, Kids Help Phone

Through creative, bold, and innovate thinking, Oliver Wyman articulated a new youth-centered service model for KHP and defined priorities to achieve the goal. This allows KHP to clearly prioritize its programs, services and other initiatives to ensure the nonprofit is maximizing its impact with youth.

While the work was a transformative exercise, the youth mental health space is dynamic. Oliver Wyman also shared an innovation discipline to ensure KHP continuously evolves and adapts.


I grew up with KHP all around me – starting from elementary school where I saw their name on milk cartons and candy wrappers – and have seen the impact they've had on my friends and within my community in Ottawa. It has been an absolute privilege to contribute to guiding KHP’s strategy for the future and supporting the next generation of youth in Canada
Mike Chen, Consultant, Oliver Wyman