These are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you don’t see an answer to your question here – please contact us.
Q: Is Your Life Counts a charity?
A: Yes. We are a federally incorporated charity registered by letters patent with Industry Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. We are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency 13589-1257-RR0001 Find us at the CRA website
Q: What is your legal name and other common names?
A: Your Life Counts! International Inc; Your Life Counts; YLC
Q: When was Your Life Counts established?
A: In 2000
Q: Who is the founder and founding board members of Your Life Counts?
A: Rory Butler – Founder; Mark Morin, Jim Hewitt & Brian Patterson
Q: Do you have a Board of Directors?
A: Yes, as a registered charity we are governed by the Charities Legislation with a board of directors
Q: Do you have an Advisory Board?
A: Yes, we are fortunate to have the counsel of an amazing advisory board.
Q: What is your mission?
A: “YOUR LIFE COUNTS (YLC) is a critical front line resource working with youth, families, veterans, serving military personnel and emergency services in the battle against trauma, addictions and overwhelming life situations that may lead to thoughts of suicide. Through our unique outreach tool the “Online Lifeline” and extensive life affirming online and offline resources, YLC is dedicated to preventing suicide and intervening and supporting individuals who may be suicidal, and provides guidance and help to families who have lost a loved one to suicide. YLC saves lives! YLC is also passionate about creating and promoting leading edge, life-affirming strategies to meet the needs of individuals, including, ongoing empathic support, education, research, empowerment, training and advocacy through its resources, alliances, and programs worldwide.” You can read more about what we believe here.
Q: How do you reach out?
A: By word of mouth, special events and our online response centre. We are supported by advocacy, education and awareness programs in schools, the community and the workplace. Social media is playing an increasingly significant role in our outreach. Find out more here.
Q: Can anyone apply to volunteer with YLC?
A: We are humbled and grateful for the amazing work accomplished by our Volunteers but at the same time we are protective of our team and of the vulnerable people (youth and families) with whom we work closely. It is therefore important that the right people join our team. Also, all volunteer involvements with students must have the written consent and active involvement of their school, together with parental/ guardian consent to the age of 18. We have these protocols in place to protect all concerned and to ensure accountability.
Q: What is the time requirement in terms of involvement that you are looking for from potential volunteers?
A: We suggest somewhere in the range of 3-5 hours a week but really depends on the individual and his/ her circumstances.
Q: What are the training requirements for potential volunteers?
A: Currently our small team of facilitators with the online lifeline have experience, training, qualifications and background in counseling together with suicide prevention training to Living Works ASIST level and beyond. We are working towards all volunteers completing the Living Works SafeTalk program and for those who may be working in any way with vulnerable people to have completed the Living Works ASIST program.
Q: Do you require a Police Background check for Volunteers?
A: Yes, we require all volunteers to have a Police background check for working with vulnerable people. The only exception would be for someone under the age of 16 who is involved in a specific activity supervised by his/her school.
Q: Who responds to people on the online helpline and what qualifications do they have?
A: Our online facilitator(s) have a background in social work/ counseling/ psychology/ psychiatry and education. All have relevant skills, qualifications and experience and work at a professional level. Our team have been trained to Living Works ASIST level or equivalent and beyond.
Q: Do youth mentor youth on the online helpline?
A: No. We do not minimalize the effectiveness of youth support but for the work of the online lifeline we work at a professional level.
Q: Is Your Life Counts registered with the Police?
A: Yes, we are a registered agency with the Niagara Police Service and partner with Police agencies and other associated agencies across North America and the world.
Q: Where do you get your funding from?
A: From individuals, corporations, grants and special events fundraising.
Q: Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?
A: Yes, for all Canadian tax payers we will issue a tax deductible receipt for any donation over $20. You can donate here.
Q: How will my support financially help save lives?
A: 100% of our efforts are focused on the development and delivery of our programs. We are working on building our capacity considerably and every dollar makes a difference.
Q: Can I donate things other than money?
A: Yes, as long as the item is serviceable we can issue a tax receipt for the fair market value for the item(s) whatever it/they is/are. For example you can donate your vehicle; stocks and shares; real estate; equipment; fine art, furniture etc.
Q: I live in the USA – can I make a donation to YLC?
A: Yes, absolutely but we are not able to issue a tax receipt at the moment.
Q: Do you raise enough money to cover your costs?
A: We are working hard to build our capacity but we are not yet at the point where we have all our baseline costs covered.
Q: We see you have relationships with some major corporations – surely they give you all the funding you need?
A: We are grateful to our service in kind partners who provide generous service in kind to YLC. We could not write a cheque for all the goodwill help we receive. It is important you understand this help is in kind; it is not cash support. We also need cash to pay our bills.
Q: Do you receive Government funding?
A: No. Currently there is no formal Government plan for suicide prevention work in Canada Read about how YLC has made efforts in Canadian parliament.
Q: Why is there no Government funding?
A: Canada is one of two countries in the G8 group of countries not to have a formal national suicide prevention strategy. Canadian expertise has provided guidelines to the World Health Organization on the development of such strategies, but currently there is nothing in place. That is why YLC is working hard to change this.
Q: How many full time staff do you have?
A: We have one – the Founder – we are working hard to expand our full time team with adequate funding in place.
Questions about our strategy:
Q: What do people say to you about suicide prevention?
A: A Your Life Counts National Poll by world leading research company Harris Decima, shows that Canadians are concerned about the problem of suicide. 96% of Canadians said they felt suicide should be talked about freely without fear or shame and 84% of Canadians said they wanted the Government to do more to help those working in suicide prevention.
Q: I’ve heard people say that suicide is a mental health problem – what do you think?
A: We believe that suicide is a community health issue and agree with the position of Living Works
Living Works Quote:
“We hold that suicide is best viewed broadly as an issue for the entire community. We reject any attempt to maintain an exclusionary position. To make suicide one group’s territory is to re-stigmatize suicide in modern clothing by implying that suicide is so special, dangerous or unusual that only some can deal with it. Such a restriction also reduces the range and numbers of people who could help prevent suicide. Suicide is not the domain of any one discipline or viewpoint. We need everyone, working together, to bring an end to the long history of avoiding the community consequences of suicide.” Visit Living Works here.
Q: How do you help people?
A: We have our online lifeline where we respond one on one to individuals for as long as they need us. We steady people. Our interactive web resource and programs in schools and the community complement our efforts and give continuity. We are raising awareness around suicide prevention.
Q: What training do you advocate and engage in your work?
Q: How does YLC help students in particular apart from school presentations and special events, etc?
A: So often excellent speakers visit schools; however, when he/ she leaves the school it is so often the case that there is little or no follow up. All students are informed that they can contact the YLC online lifelineand be listened to unconditionally, receive help and guidance for as long as it takes to steady them, and receive help in life.
Q: So if everything is online is that really effective? How can a computer save lives?
A: Since year 2000 there are well over 1,200 people alive today as a result of the help they have received through YLC. These are just the lives we know about. There are doubtless many more people who have been helped.
Q: Are there any conditions to the help you extend to people?
A: We work with people unconditionally no matter who they are or where they are from or what they believe in.
Q: Do you work with the emergency services?
A: Yes, the emergency services are key partners and community stakeholders in the work of YLC.
Q: How do people get to hear about YLC?
A: Through our TV ads, online presence; word of mouth; posters and banners in schools and in the community. People are also referred to us by other professionals in the community and by other agencies.
Q: Where are you based?
A: It is fair to say that we are spread out geographically as a team. We have a virtual office online where much of our work and outreach is accomplished. We also have a physical base in Welland, Ontario with satellite offices developing.
Questions about our email response facility:
Q: How can I get help from YLC?
A: Contact us directly online via www.yourlifecounts.org
Q: Are your services for everyone?
A: We want to ensure that everyone gets help but our resources are limited and there are a lot of people across the world who may need help and support. The only way, realistically, we can help everyone who contacts us via our website is to direct them to community resources in their area. We try to help people to identify their closest match to resources. For people who cannot find help and support within our referral database, we do respond and assist as best we can. The home page on our website at www.yourlifecounts.org helps people to navigate the quickest path to connecting with the resource best suited to their needs.
Q: Who answers the emails?
A: We have a growing team of dedicated and trained professionals all engaged in mental health work, counseling and education at competent levels.
Q: How many emails do you typically respond to each week?
A: We have a regular flow of emails and we typically respond to 5,000 + emails a month.
Q: Do you answer every email?
A: Yes. Every email is answered on a priority basis.
Q: Why do you not have instant messaging (texting) or chat rooms as a part of your response?
A: The guidance we have from our professional advisors, including police, is that these forms of technology have intrinsic problems including personal safety and counseling care. YLC will continue to research and monitor our forward options with the guidance of our professional team.
Questions about our in-school programs:
Q: Do you work in schools?
A: Yes, we have several programs that we deliver in schools focused on anti-bullying; making good life choices and understanding how to cope with relationships and other life issues that sometimes overwhelm. We have a team of speakers who work with us and deliver these programs.
Q: Do you charge a fee for school presentations?
A: Yes but only at a cost recovery basis. We factor in travel, accommodation, speakers fees, and print materials. By involving the school and business community, funds may be raised to sponsor our visit. For school inquiries find out more here.
Questions about our Domain Registrations:
Q: Do you have more than one domain registration?
We currently hold the following domains but this listing is not limited to nor restricted to the foregoing:
Q What other key words/taglines is/are Your Life Counts known as?
- Your Life Matters
- Bully 180
- Project Zero
- Every Life Counts
- Every Life Matters
- My Life Counts
- My Life Matters
- Life Matters
- High 5 For Life
- Mental Health Superheroes
- One Million Reasons To Live
- Share Reasons2Live
Especially for Educators:
Additional Q&A’s for educators please click here.
Your Life Counts asserts and protects all of our trademark and patent rights worldwide in respect of each and all of our creative, intellectual and other properties. We will enforce these rights. If you are in doubt as to whether you have breached or are in breach of the rights of Your Life Counts you are encouraged to contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Terms & Conditions can be read here.
NOTE: If you have a question we haven’t answered here please email us at email@example.com and we will endeavour to include it here. Many thanks.