Seeking Child and Youth Mental Health Awareness Day

TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Children are bullied. Parents are ashamed. Communities are divided. That's what life looks like when we don't eliminate the prejudice of living with mental illness. To help children, parents and communities, Parents for Children's Mental Health* is working with MPPs to have May 7th declared Child and Youth Mental Health Awareness Day!

Not that long ago, a person living with epilepsy would have been locked up and regarded as insane. Fortunately, much work was done to demonstrate that this illness was not the "fault" of the individual but rather a diagnosable illness that could be treated and allow the person to live a successful life. It's time to bring the same awareness and effort to those children and youth living with a diagnosable mental illness.

PCMH and supporters will be at Queen's Park on Monday, May 3rd, 2010, seeking support from legislature to have May 7th declared Child and Youth Mental Health Awareness Day. This provincial effort is part of a National Consortium working to have the day declared in all the Provinces, as well as have it declared Nationally.

Sarah Cannon, Executive Director of PCMH points out that "families and those affected with mental illness are forced to deal with discrimination and judgment that largely comes from stigma and we believe this stigma is grounded in fear. To combat this stigma we must raise awareness around the real issues, and the fact that these illnesses are claiming children and youth lives more than any other physical illness, yet still go ignored." Sarah Cannon believes that "that the only way to stop stigma is to stand firmly in front of it, and we believe May 3rd is one step in that direction."

Join us on the south lawn of Queen's Park on May 3rd at 10:00 a.m. and hear Valerie Pringle and other prominent citizens speak out on behalf of children and youth living with mental illness. We will be calling for this special day for children and youth living with mental illness and ensure that shame and fear no longer hold them back.

* Parents for Children's Mental Health is a non-profit, Provincial, parent-led organization dedicated to raising the voice of families and children who face the daily struggles and challenges when dealing with child and youth mental health issues. One in five children suffer from a mental illness. Suicide is the leading cause of non-accidental death in youth aged 10-19 years. The Child and Youth Mental Health system has been plagued by stagnant funding for over a decade. Currently, 656,000 families in Ontario are dealing with the stigma, isolation, and debilitating effects of dealing with child and youth mental health issues. The World Health organization recently released that by 2020 Depression will be the second leading cause of disability.

           Children's Mental Health is EVERYONE'S Business.......


For further information: For further information: Parents for Children's Mental Health, 600 The East Mall, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M9B 4B1, Tel: (416) 921-2109, Fax: (416) 921-7600, E-mail:, Website:

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