Did you know that every year since 1951, the national office of the Canadian Mental Health Association has commemorated the first full week of May as Mental Health Week? The goal of this annual event is to share information about mental health, to provide support, and to celebrate mentally healthy lifestyles.
From May 4 – May 10, 2015, mental health organizations across the country will be hosting events for the community in order to increase awareness about signs, symptoms, and support and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health problems. Approximately 500,000 children and youth in Ontario have a mental health problem – that’s 1 in 5 kids.
Mental health problems can include anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, psychosis, ADHD, bullying, eating disorders, or conduct disorder. If the signs are not recognized and if children do not receive the support that they need, mental health problems can lead to difficulties at school and home, conflict, drug abuse, and even suicide. The good news is that help is available and treatment works! There’s nothing shameful in talking about mental health. The more we know about it, the better equipped we are to recognize symptoms and reach out for support when we need it.
One of the main goals of Children’s Mental Health Week is to start conversations so that we can reduce the shame and stigma associated with mental health. One awesome way that this is happening is through an annual YouTube video contest called Change the View. Youth from across Ontario were invited to create a 2-minute video showing how we can all contribute to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. The videos were evaluated by a panel of judges and the winner will be announced and awarded a $1500 prize at a special event in Toronto on May 8. Here’s a link to the top 20 videos:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEZtsHDb6CwtlQr-rvErKB_xABUBQnJDY To find out more information about the event and to RSVP, please visit: http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/news_and_events/events.php?action=detail&aid=1354
Some other events across the province include a variety of amazing information workshops for children, parents, and support workers; green ribbon campaigns; parent information nights; schoolyard walks to raise mental health awareness; along with much more. For a full list of Children’s Mental Health Week events, click here: http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/news_and_events/events.php
How will you celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week? We would love to hear from you! At Art as Therapy our mission is to provide support for children, youth and parents so that every individual can recognize their inner power and potential, and find creative solutions for coping with difficult life circumstances. We are here for you if you need support, and can’t wait to celebrate with you along the way.
Happy Children’s Mental Health Week from Art as Therapy!