Child and Youth Mental Health Week, May 4-10

May 4, 2015

Leaving stigma behind

Reducing stigma around mental health and substance use issues cannot be achieved overnight, but a group of youths in the Okanagan are determined to accelerate the pace during this year’s Child and Youth Mental Health week - May 4 to 10.

The youth are working through one of the provincial Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative’s Local Action Teams to develop a 30-second video in partnership with Shaw Cable and Landmark Cinemas.

The video can be viewed in local cinemas, schools and on Shaw Cable TV during May 4 – 10 (see link to video below). The theme is “we are the generation leaving stigma behind” – addressing the biggest fears facing youth – being blamed for their illness and alienation.  

One youth in every five is living with mental health issues. The concept of the video centres around what occurs when one of the five youth reveals their illness to their peers. The video also publicizes the online resources for local child and youth mental health services.

Doctors recognize that most mental health conditions appear before age 25, and that early identification, diagnosis, and treatment can prevent life-long struggles with mental health and substance use issues. 

Doctors, together with many other partners, are working to address CYMH issues as part of the CYMHSU Collaborative, and the Practice Support Program (PSP) – a program which developed a PSP Child and Youth Mental Health training module to help recognize early signs of common mental health disorders in children and adolescents.  The module has been training GPs and school counsellors since 2012. Both initiatives have been addressing gaps, improving access, and building and strengthening relationships.  Funding is provided by collaborative committees of Doctors of BC and government of BC.

It is through initiatives like the Collaborative, and the development of training modules, that doctors, the government and key partners are making a difference in the lives of children, youth and their families.

View Leaving Stigma Behind video here

For more information:

Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative

Practice Support Program - Child and Youth Mental Health