A New Year Message from Mark Hierlihy, President & CEO, CCHF
Now more than ever, we are valuing quality time with our loved ones more, primarily for the sake of our mental health.
With months of quarantine experience under our belts, the routine and look of our daily lives has been changed entirely.
Now more than ever, we are valuing quality time with our loved ones more, primarily for the sake of our mental health. Whether you’re a frontline worker working long hours, a working mom taking care of your kids while juggling conference calls, or a child at home worried and wondering when you’ll be able to meet your friends again, it’s clear that our minds are handling a different level of stress recently.
To proudly acknowledge how we’ve all been coping in these times, we’re celebrating two significant occasions in neurology and brain health this month – Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month and Child & Youth Mental Health Day.
Both occasions recognize the phenomenal achievements made in the scientific and medical fields, but also reminds us of the role that healthcare workers play in supporting and acting on ground-breaking research. Especially in these recent times while we’re experiencing the impact of COVID-19 in all areas of the country, their work has never been more top of mind.
Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba takes these two topics to heart, and is on the frontlines of children’s mental health and neurofibromatosis research.
Led by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month is “a time for members of the NF community to harness their power, drive awareness, educate those around them, and raise money to support research that will lead to effective treatments for neurofibromatosis (NF)”. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder of the nervous system. It mainly affects how nerve cells form and causes tumors to grow on nerves.
Child & Youth Mental Health Day is especially significant this year given that the COVID-19 crisis has left many kids and their families at home worried about their own health and safety. The non-profit organization FamilySmart originated this day in 2007 and encourages schools, communities and families to engage in mental health discussions with children. Their focus in 2020 is compassion and asks us to participate in their message “I care about you” to demonstrate caring and answer how you feel cared for.
According to Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, between 500 and 600 children ages 10-17 are admitted to the 14-bed Child & Adolescent Mental Health inpatient unit every year. The unit serves youth with a range of acute mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and suicide attempts or ideation. The care is evidence-based and provided by an inter-professional team of health care providers through a family-focused lens.
Children’s mental health has never been more top of mind, and CHF Manitoba is working hard to help the millions of children at home across the country who may be feeling worried and alone. Their latest campaign “Our Kids Need a Place to Play” is about changing indoor & outdoor spaces for kids who suffer from anxiety & depression to give them more opportunities to laugh and grow.
In the month of May, we are featuring Manitoba’s Champion child Brady and he is spending the month fundraising for his local hospital. Support his mission here. Consider donating to CHF of Manitoba’s campaign or, visit Brady’s campaign page.
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