January 28: talking about mental health

25 01 2015

The more we talk about mental illness, the more we combat the damaging stigma that keeps so many from seeking help and finding support. It’s not hard. It’s a conversation that needs to continue all year long, but January 28th is a good day to begin. Watch for events where you live or work, check social media, and have a conversation about mental health with someone you care about.

Bell-Lets-talkSimple conversations can make a big difference.

Add your voice to the national discussion. #BellLetsTalk

 

 

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1 in 3 Canadian Adults Have Experienced Child Abuse: New Study

23 04 2014

child abuse report

 

A just-published, first of  its kind study has found what many in the field have known for some time – child abuse has a lasting impact on many Canadians. This new research confirms the link between serious adult mental health problems and experiences of childhood physical abuse, sexual abuse, and witnessing intimate partner violence.

Findings from the national study highlight the urgent need for a child abuse prevention strategy in Canada. Lead author Tracie Afifi of the University of Manitoba told CBC News that her team’s findings “indicate that 32 per cent of the adult population in Canada has experienced child abuse (i.e., physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or exposure to intimate partner violence) and that child abuse has robust associations with mental conditions”.

The study, published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found physical abuse to be most common (26%), followed by sexual abuse (10%) and exposure to intimate partner violence (8%). The authors highlight the need for reporting child abuse as well as understanding treatment implications.

To read the full journal article, visit www.cmaj.ca

 





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.





Play On!

18 08 2013

Strong kids = Strong families = Strong nation. That simple but powerful mission is behind Canadian Tire’s new campaign to bring play back to childhood. It is an inspiring and  welcome partnership to get youngsters active again with the help of influential athletes and players of all types. It reminds us about our longtime “passion for play” while pointing out that “play doesn’t come out to play as much anymore”. Nostalgic and iconic images of children at play are appearing on the company’s TV commercials, and supporters of the campaign are posting their own videos and photos online showing how and where Canadians play.

-we-all-play-for-canada-Confidence. Creativity. Strength. These qualities, cited as goals of the campaign, are ones we can all encourage in children of all ages. “A country without strong children cannot stay strong”, says the campaign. No argument here.

Play on!

http://www.weallplayforcanada.ca/





Street children – changing our view

12 04 2013

street kids international

Street Kids International (Street Kids) was founded in Canada in 1988 (and now has offices in the UK and US). Its mission is to provide vulnerable youth with the tools they need to move themselves out of poverty and into gainful employment.

Today, April 12th, marks the annual International Day for Street Children and as part of their campaign this year Street Kids International has created a two-minute animation to raise awareness and mobilize action for the estimated 100 million street children in the world. They want the world to see it, which is why they’re asking websites and TV stations to air the clip and spread the word through their networks.

This short animation engages youth throughout our global village, zooming around the globe from The Philippines to Sierra Leone, and finally in front of the CN tower in Toronto. It shares the important message that even though poverty exists everywhere, street youth are resilient and creative and, importantly, that we are all connected. In doing so it challenges the common myth that street youth are delinquents or lazy, and welcomes viewers to “Challenge Perceptions and Change Reality.”
The video is being shown online as part of a social media campaign coinciding with the International Day for Street Children. By sharing the video, we can help to raise awareness of this worldwide issue.

View/download the animation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kltKwly3qLw&list=UUHCejrlblzmE7JJ_yJPtzuw&index=1

Let the change begin!





Happy International Women’s Day!

8 03 2013

Borrowing from another excellent message distributed today by Miss Representation (www.missrepresentation.org), here’s a reminder to think about change as we celebrate women and girls in all their potential…

toddlers and tiaras

Today is International Women’s Day, so let’s take this collective moment to pledge to end the oppression of women worldwide – in all its forms. Let’s pledge to end not only the overt violence directed at women daily, but the institutional sexism holding us back and the destructive representations of women in the media which contribute to that same culture of negating women and denying them their equal seat at the tables of power. After all, as long as the media hypersexualizes and objectifies women, they normalize treating women as second-class citizens and objects for the male gaze, which further contributes to violence against women.

Katy Couric

We encourage you to spend this special day not only supporting those organizations creating change in the treatment of women globally, but thinking personally about how you can make an impact on the lives of women and girls everywhere. Each of us can play a small part in transforming the way our culture views, values, and treats women and girls.





Child sexual abuse in the news headlines…again

15 02 2013

On the eve of the Family Day long weekend here in Ontario, sexual crimes against children are once again prominent in news headlines. Very prominent. Today’s newscasts are featuring at least four major stories, among them:

  • child pornography charges laid against a Halton teacher
  • an RCMP officer and his wife charged in a shocking child abuse case now unfolding in Ottawa
  • Coronation Street TV star accused of 19 child sexual offences dating from 2001 – 2010
  • Manitoba Court of Appeal lengthens sentence for convicted child sex offender and former hockey coach Graham James (increased from 2 years to 5 years)

BROKEN TRUSTThese cases echo the broken trust that so often surfaces in sexual crimes against children. All instances of sexual abuse are unacceptable, but those committed by adults in positions of trust or authority, including teachers, police officers, coaches, parents, and celebrities, are betrayals of the worst kind. They raise questions not only about those who would perpetrate these worst of assaults against innocence, but also about the failings of society’s efforts to protect vulnerable children.

This Family Day, how about asking what more we can do to value children? If we believe children are indeed the future, and if we recognize that crimes against them ultimately are crimes against tomorrow’s hopes and aspirations, then this seems the right track to changing how children are viewed and treated. If everyone valued children – honoured them and protected them – what would change? Would we find new thinking or effective ideas that could be harnessed in order to nurture these seeds of the future? Could we better understand and address the threats and expose the root causes that have led us to a point in history when the youngest among us face so many dangers? Certainly seems worthwhile asking the questions.

Happy Family Day.