Children’s Mental Health Week happens the first week of May every year. This is to bring awareness and continue conversations about mental health in our communities. In times like these, where we are all locked down in our homes, it is important to consider one another’s mental well-being.
Algoma Family Services has partnered with Nogdawindamin, Canadian Mental Health and Addictions Algoma, Thrive and Strong Minds to create programming during this week of awareness.
Algoma Family Services CEO, Ali Juma joined SaultOnline to talk about what’s happening in our community over this week of awareness for children’s mental health.
“Even before the pandemic, over 28,000 children in the province of Ontario have been waiting for more than a year to get service. So with the pandemic, we’re worried that number is even larger,” Juma comments. “We want our communities to know that there are services available to them.”
Nogdawindamin started off the week with an opening drum ceremony, where they had about 75 participants involved, and they will finish off the week and close in ceremony on Monday.
“We want the community to know that even though our offices are closed right now because of the stay at home order, our services are still open. We’re still connecting with people, youth and children, doing it virtually through zoom,” Juma explains.
“The cool thing about the virtual services is that we actually have a better reach. Because now people don’t have to leave their homes or travel to come see us. They’re able to connect with us, either by telephone, or virtually,”
There will be a Medicine Walk with Nogdawindamin posted to Facebook on Friday, May 7th to encourage families to get out and spend some time engaging in nature.
There will be a Family Fitness event live at 6:30 pm, also on May 7, where families can get on their feet and have some fun together.
Saturday, May 8 is the Strong Minds 4th Annual Run for Change happening all day, followed by a concert streamed on Facebook at 7:00 pm.
In these challenging times, many families are feeling the effects of isolation. It’s important to know that there are resources available when you need them.
Contact Algoma Family Services toll-free at 1 (800) 461-2237 to get connected to local services.