A lot has changed in 30 years!

For 30 years Kids Helpline has been there for any young person at any hour of the day or night.

Thanks to the support of our community, Kids Helpline has helped hundreds and thousands of young people since 1991. 

The ways children and young people choose to interact with us has evolved over the past 30 years particularly with increased use of technology.

What hasn’t changed is that Kids Helpline continues to support and listen to the needs of children and young people across Australia 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Come along with us as we look through 30 years of Kids Helpline.

"By the end of the call I had the courage to push on and face another day."

With your support, Kids Helpline was able to change Molly's life.

30 years of Kids Helpline


Officially opened in March and 3,200 young people called on the first day


Became a national service and had registered over 1 million calls from young people


Introduction of email counselling


Launched WebChat live counselling


Kids Helpline answered 8 millionth call for help


Kids Helpline celebrates 30 years

30 years of making a difference

"I knew Kids Helpline was worthwhile."

Kids Helpline was launched on Monday March 25, 1991 by then-Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson. 

Funded by you

When Kids Helpline launched it was entirely funded by tickets in our Art Union lotteries. 

A national launch

In 1993, our Australia-wide service was launched by Annita Keating, wife of Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Before mobile phones

Young people who didn't feel safe to call from home could still call from a payphone in public or at school.

Thank you John Schluter

In 1993, Queensland’s favourite TV weatherman donated the proceeds of his first book to Kids Helpline.

Kylie, corn flakes and computers

Kellogg’s put Kids Helpline and Kylie Minogue on the back of corn flakes packets and suddenly, our number was on kitchen tables across the country.

Then came the flood

In 2011, our Brisbane counselling centre was inundated up to the first floor!

Spreading our wings

In 2020 we opened our first ever New South Wales counselling centre in Blacktown. 

In the late 1980s, support services for young people were inconsistent. Children with problems were often nervous or confused about where to turn for confidential advice, referrals or crisis counselling. 

Kids Helpline was launched on Monday March 25, 1991. On that first day, the staff counsellors took 3,200 calls. By the time the service went national in 1993, more than 1 million calls had been answered.

Our website launched in 1996, and in 1999 the Kids Helpline WebChat began, allowing children and young people to communicate with counsellors online. Since then we’ve expanded into virtual classroom counselling with Kids Helpline @ School, and launched peer support platform My Circle, for young people to chat to others they relate to.

Download our historical story to read more, including all about our famous friends like megastar Kylie Minogue!

Deep-dive into Kids Helpline's rich history

Phone boxes to Facebook: how tech has changed

A year in review

2020 was a year like no other! As mental health, unemployment and domestic violence made headlines, Kids Helpline was there responding to young people.

Contacts to Kids Helpline rose by more than 20% in 2020, largely related to issues regarding mental health & emotional wellbeing.

35% were from young people contacting us for the first time.

Key stats

  • 8.4 million responses
  • 507,887 counselling sessions for mental or emotional health (including self-injury)
  • 443,075 counselling sessions for family relationships

The future's bright!

From phone to email to WebChat, Kids Helpline continues to evolve with young people across Australia.

As our service grows, we're always looking at new ways to engage with young people - whether it's dialling directly into their classrooms to building our own counsellor-run social platform.

Check out how we're continuing to grow below!

Our service is for the community, funded by the community.

Kids Helpline enjoys funding support from across the community, including Art Union supporters, donors, corporate partners, governments, schools and bequests. 

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