Algoma Family Services (AFS), in partnership with Early ON, Nogdawindamin, Social Services Sault Ste. Marie, Strong Minds and THRIVE are providing a hybrid environment of in-person and virtual activities and events across the District in recognition of Infant, Child, Youth, and Adult Mental Health Week from May 1st to May 7th, 2022.
Children’s Mental Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Week occur in May. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness about mental health, share information on services, and reduce stigma. “Currently, there are over 28,000 children in the province of Ontario waiting for service, and this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. We are seeing more younger children with significant mental health challenges. Kids can’t wait for mental health care. More resources in terms of funding and staffing are desperately needed to ensure services are available. Community members are encouraged to take the pledge in making Ontario the #1 jurisdiction in Canada for access to kids’ mental health services. You can find the pledge at the Children’s Mental Health Ontario website”, said Sandie Leith, Director of Services, Algoma Family Services.
Green is the symbolic colour in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Week. Algoma communities are encouraged to wear green ribbons and decorate their front window green. We encourage you to participate by taking a picture of your decorated window or wearing green and tagging AFS on Facebook or Instagram. Also, be on the lookout for our Green ribbon lawn signs around town. #KidsCantWait #CMHW2022
The following is a list of activities/events planned for the week of May 1st. All activities/events will be held either virtually, in person, or both and posted to Facebook and Instagram. The theme of the week is ‘Spirit of Play’
“We are all in a state of pandemic fatigue and we are certainly seeing this in the increased demand for our services. As pandemic mandates and restrictions lift, hope is high that our lives can return to somewhat normal, however, for many the impact of the pandemic on our mental health will be felt for some time to come. In some instances, the true nature of this impact is yet to be known. We greatly encourage the community to join in on the planned activities, have some fun, and learn more about mental health and the services available. Your participation goes a long way in reducing the stigma associated with mental health. I would like to extend on behalf of the AFS Board and Leadership team our great appreciation to the Children’s Mental Health Week Planning Committee and our community partners for their awesome work in planning these great events. Remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Let’s get, Loud for Mental Health!”, said Ali Juma, CEO, Algoma Family Services.
To learn more about Children’s Mental Health Week, please visit the Children’s Mental Health Ontario website or the Canadian Mental Health Association website for information on adult mental health. Be sure to check out the Algoma Family Services Facebook and Instagram Pages.