Talking about children…

17 04 2014

ngugi_wa_thiongo“Talking about the survival of children is not an act of charity. Children are the future of any society. If you want to know the future of any society look at the eyes of the children. If you want to maim the future of any society, you simply maim the children. Thus the struggle for the survival of our children is the struggle for the survival of our future. The quantity and quality of that survival is the measurement of the development of our society.”

Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o

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Happiness…can change the world

18 03 2014

March 20 marks the United Nations International Day of Happiness. The Kingdom of Bhutan, known for adopting Gross National Happiness as a measurement of its people’s prosperity, started the initiative for a day devoted to happiness. All 193 UN member states then adopted the resolution creating a day to inspire action for a happier world. On the first celebration of the Day, in 2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.”

This year, March 20 will also mark the long-awaited first day of Spring (spring equinox) –  something to be very happy about after a long and snowy winter!

For more, visit http://www.dayofhappiness.net or www.facebook.com/Intl.DayofHappiness





Neighbourhood and Maternal-Infant Health in Hamilton

3 02 2014

Mother-ChildA few months ago, the team of researchers conducting the Neighbourhood Study of Maternal and Infant Health in Hamilton hosted an invitational meeting to present their findings and to gather input from community members interested in this work. Their research focus looked at whether or not neighbourhood variations could be found in selected maternal-child health indicators. Does it matter if a new mother has lived in particular neighbourhood for a long time? Does neighbourhood play a role in pre-term birth?

The meeting was intended to get people talking about the research findings (including maps showing health indicators, like obstetrical complications, by census tract) and to hear from those who work in these neighbourhoods as well as those whose primary interest is maternal or infant health. It was seen as a starting point for sharing what the researchers learned, and seeing what the community might do to further their work or implement their findings.

 

The meeting was facilitated by Karen Smith. The link to the summary report is here: Neighbourhood Study of Maternal and Infant Health in Hamilton INVITATIONAL MEETING SUMMARY REPORT





Stereotypical costumes? Booooooo!

26 10 2013

Our friends at MissRepresentation (now The Representation Project) recently spotlighted the “increasingly gendered nature of Halloween costumes” and challenged us to be more creative with our efforts this year. And, they report, the response has been inspiring…

“Halloween is thought to have originated as a night to remember those who had passed or as a ritual to appease the “spirit” world. Today, most of us love the night because it gives us a chance to dress up and momentarily pretend to be something or someone else. There’s also the joy of collectively facing the “scariest” elements of our world.

Yet, over the years – as a result of widespread commercialization – Halloween has also devolved into a parade of our society’s worst impulses. From the hypersexualization of women and girls to encouraging violence in boys – not to mention racially and culturally insensitive costumes of all kinds – we often spend this night perpetuating the most harmful aspects of culture, rather than imagining something better.”

(takebackhalloween.org)

(takebackhalloween.org)

Instead of opting for the typical princess and super hero costumes for our girls and boys this year, we can stop perpetuating unfair stereotypes and help youngsters feel comfortable wearing costumes that go beyond the traditional.  At the very least, we can help offer them options that stretch beyond the predictible.

Check out the “Take Back Halloween” campaign, a website featuring creative costume ideas (for adults too) that are thoughtful and, in many cases, simple to assemble with commonly found items: www.takebackhalloween.org

By joining the move to “take back” Halloween, we can replace hurtful stereotypes with a celebration that is a fun and inclusive holiday for all.

Happy haunting!





October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

12 10 2013

Lots going on this month to remind us that child abuse needs our ongoing attention, as well as providing us with opportunities to help out and support the cause…

VOTE

Check out the AVIVA Community Fund competition where $1,000,000 is up for grabs and help to support the Community Child Abuse Council of Canada by voting (daily) for the Child Abuse Prevention and Parent Support Program. Just register, then sign in daily and vote: http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf17152

CHECK OUT THE MUSIC

BTown Sound in Burlington is hosting another of its popular acoustic nights on October 18th – free admission, proceeds from the cash bar, live and silent auctions to the Community Child Abuse Council of Canada. Up for auction: autographed ukelele from hot indie band Walk Off The Earth! Details on their web site: www.btownsound.ca

USE YOUR VOICE

Have a conversation about child abuse – we can’t stop it if we aren’t talking about it.

AND MORE…

Please take a moment to see what else is happening, get informed, make a donation, and find out about other ways you can help: www.childabusecouncil.on.ca

(aviary.com)

(aviary.com)





A Win-Win-Win for Children, Families, Communities

30 09 2013

It’s about helping children after the trauma of abuse. The focus is supporting parents and caregivers. And we all benefit.

That’s the winning combination behind the Community Child Abuse Council’s entry in the AVIVA Community Fund competition this year.  It’s a simple concept that, with your support, could do a great deal of good.

The Community Parent Support Program

  • A series of facilitated group programs to support parents and caregivers whose children have been sexually victmized, or who have problem sexual behaviours (including sibling incest).
  • Developed by an experienced team of professionals and offered by the Community Child Abuse Council over the past several years – with solid results.
  • Parents (including foster parents) and caregivers (including grandparents) learn together and get the support they need to understand what their children are going through. In a safe and supportive environment, they strengthen their knowledge about sexual abuse and its impact on families, and enhance their ability to support their children. And, importantly, their involvement in these groups has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s treatment outcomes.

Now, the Council has an opportunity to share this proven model with others, supporting parents and caregivers in any community (even remote ones and those without specialized treatment options for children). The proposal will see the program published, packaged, and distributed widely, together with the materials and supports needed by facilitators to deliver these groups in any community. These innovative resources will be affordable, adaptable, and ready to implement in any community, anywhere. And, to make this a win-win-win scenario, any revenue from the project will be reinvested into the Council’s child abuse prevention, education, and treatment programs. That means more treatment for local kids in need, more prevention work, and more community-focused educational initiatives.

Voting begins today – September 30th – and it’s easy to vote. Just go to the AVIVA Community Fund web site, find the “register” button at the top right of the page (takes 30 seconds, and only required on your first visit), and once you’re registered, select the Community Parent Support Program and vote!

Here’s the link: http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf17152#.UkHqha-RE2Y.email

You can also search for the Council’s project on the AVIVA Community Fund web site using (idea) number is ACF17152.

Please tell your friends, use your social media connections, and help generate as much support as possible for this proposal – with your help, and enough votes, it will move on to the next rounds and one step closer to the funding that will make this important project possible.

In the first round, you can vote 15 times (but only once per day for the same project). So, please, use those votes to help put valuable and vital resources in the hands of caring communities where they can do the most good for families who need them.

Thank you so very much.





Stigma – a major barrier for suicide prevention

9 09 2013

Important information, resources, and event news on this the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day (Tuesday, September 10) from the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton…Hope

Stigma hurts. It’s that simple. Negative attitudes about individuals who are living with a mental illness or with suicidal ideation or impulses are too common and can be found everywhere. Stigma can prevent or discourage people affected by mental illnesses or suicidal ideation or behaviour from seeking professional help or from returning to their typical social roles after an episode of illness. We each need to do our part to help spread a message of hope and stop the stigma on World Suicide Prevention Day Sept. 10, 2013, co-sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness creates barriers that can make it difficult for people to get the help they need to access care, housing and employment,” says Lea Pollard, chair of the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton. “The result is that many people with mental illness and suicidal ideation may not seek out help.  The good news is that we can change attitudes and we can eradicate stigma.”

In Hamilton alone, someone dies by suicide every nine days. Globally, people are losing loved ones to suicide every 40 seconds — an estimated 1 million people annually. This exceeds the number of lives lost to homicide and war combined.

On Suicide Prevention Day, the theme of which is Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention, we want your help in spreading a message of hope. Hamilton’s World Suicide Prevention Day discussion wants to know: How do we heal the hurt of stigma?
You can share your message of hope in a number of ways:

Join us for the launch of the Stigma Hurts campaign on Sept. 10 at 9 am at Slainte Irish Gastropub, 33 Bowen St. in Hamilton. Dr. Jennifer Brasch Medical Director of Psychiatric emergency services will help us to understand stigma and suicide; a new information resource

  • developed by the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton called Stigma Hurts will be launched and greetings from various community partners including Dr. David Higgins, Chief of Staff at St. Joseph’s Healthcare.
  • Get educated.
    • 1 in 5 people in this country experience a mental illness, it touches all of us
    • Mental illness is just that, an illness and it can be treated
  • Change your attitude.
    • Mental illness can affect anyone; it does not discriminate
    • Mental illness affects people, it doesn’t define who we are
  • Do something.
    • Talk to someone about mental illness and suicide to gain insight
    • Attend a safeTALK training so you can be an alert helper
    • Look after your own mental health and teach others to do the same
    • Step up when others are bullying or discriminating against someone with a mental illness
    • Don’t let stigma get in the way of being a friend
  • Use the hashtags #WSPD and #Hamilton to share your messages of hope on Twitter.
  • I Take AimAttend the I Take Aim MusicFest fundraiser, Sept. 10 at 5 pm at Slainte Irish Gastropub, 33 Bowen St. in Hamilton.

The sad reality is that only 1 in 3 people will seek help for symptoms of mental illness because of the fear of stigma. What if that one was someone you loved?

 

Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton

(905) 978 1616

hamiltonsuicideprevention@gmail.com