Campaign reveals surprising truth about kids' mental health (spoiler alert: relationships matter)

TORONTO, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Companies Committed to Kids (CCK) today announces the launch of a national public awareness campaign on children's mental wellness, aimed at parents.  The campaign sheds light on an important but often overlooked contributor to children's mental health: healthy relationships.  Studies confirm that a positive parent-child bond, in particular, may be the key to kids' long-term mental wellness. 

"Quality parent-child relationships are critical to a child's mental health," confirms Dr. Wendy Craig, a psychology professor at Queen's University.  "The research tells us that what parents say and do can have a significant beneficial or detrimental effect on their children's mental well-being."

The new campaign aims to help parents understand how everyday stressors in kids' lives may contribute to diminished mental wellness, and the important role parents can play in promoting mental health.  "When it comes to their children's health, parents intuitively recognize the value of eating right and physical activity," explains CCK president, Bev Deeth.  "What's less understood is how parents themselves can be their child's greatest mental health asset."

Deeth says it's a message Canadian parents need to hear, especially in light of a recent global study comparing children's well-being in 29 countries that ranks Canadian kids in the bottom third for both parent and peer relationships.  "These findings suggest kids aren't talking to us about how they're feeling, and parents are missing an opportunity to help foster positive mental health.  Both scenarios have serious implications for our children's continued mental well-being."   

In addition to television and online PSAs, the campaign's preventative approach includes simple tips, suggestions and strategies that parents can access at  These resources, which include content from The Psychology Foundation of Canada and other mental health partners, focus on increasing meaningful connections between parents and kids.  Deeth says providing parents with easy tools and information that support positive parent-child interactions will help make the mental health connection more top-of-mind.

Dr. Craig agrees.  "Parents need to understand they can buffer their kids against future mental health challenges.  By taking the time to really connect with their kids, they're actually engaging in long-term mental health promotion."

Five fast facts about children's mental health

  • Up to 1 in 5 Canadian kids are affected by a mental health issue.
  • Only 50 per cent of Canadian kids in grade 6 report a high level of emotional well-being.  That number drops to 26 per cent by grade 10.
  • Fifty per cent of adults with mental wellness issues report that the problem started before 14 years of age.
  • Youth mental disorders are ranked 2nd highest in hospital expenditure care in Canada
  • The presence of a strong parent/child relationship matters in 23 of 24 health behaviours for kids, including emotional wellness, making healthy choices, and positive social interactions.

About CCK

Companies Committed to Kids (formerly Concerned Children's Advertisers) is a unique non-profit organization and model of corporate social responsibility.  Our 19 Canadian member companies are committed to understanding and contributing solutions to challenging issues that impact children, including healthy active living, bullying prevention, media literacy, and mental wellness.  The organization is also supported by numerous partners, including child-centred issue experts, advertisers, and broadcasters.  As committed Canadian companies, CCK's mission is to contribute to the overall wellness of Canadian children.

Video with caption: "Video: CCK - Children's Mental Wellness Campaign - TV PSA". Video available at:

Video with caption: "Video: CCK - Children's Mental Wellness Campaign - 6-part Infographic Series". Video available at:

Image with caption: "Companies Committed to Kids (CCK) (CNW Group/Companies Committed to Kids (CCK))". Image available at:

SOURCE: Companies Committed to Kids (CCK)

For further information: To arrange interviews with Dr. Wendy Craig or CCK spokespeople: Alex Dunsmuir, ümlaut marketing+communications, t: 416-236-2368, m: 647-244-2475,

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