National Child & Youth Mental Health Day in Canada Date in the current year: May 7, 2024

National Child & Youth Mental Health Day in Canada National Child & Youth Mental Health Day is observed in Canada on May 7 every year. It was created to help young people build connections with the caring adults in their life and remind them that their mental health matters.

There is a common misconception that children and teenagers don’t experience mental health issues and are merely in a bad mood, going through a phase, or simply lying. However, this is a harmful myth born out of stigma surrounding mental health issues and psychiatric care. Children and young adults can suffer from anxiety and depression, behavioral disorders (oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. According to statistics, 1 in 6 children aged between 2 and 8 has a behavioral, developmental, or mental disorder and needs help.

Another common misconception regarding children’s mental health is that children simply outgrow any mental health issues they might have. In fact, the opposite is true: children and adolescents whose mental health problems are left untreated are more likely to “grow into” more debilitating mental health conditions as they reach adulthood.

Dealing with mental health problems can be overwhelming at any age, but it is especially overwhelming for kids and adolescents who are still learning to navigate the world and articulate their feelings and emotions. This is why it is so important for them to have trusted adults in their life who will take their mental health seriously.

National Child & Youth Mental Health Day was launched in 2007 by FamilySmart, a Canadian organization that provides service navigation, practical help, and peer support to families and caring adults that helps them better understand and support the mental health of children, youth, and young adults. It is part of the annual Mental Health Week in Canada. Since its inception, the observance has been officially recognized by some Canadian provinces, such as British Columbia and Manitoba.

The message of FamilySmart’s National Child & Youth Mental Health Day is “I care about you”. A lot of children and young adults can feel like they’re alone while going through their struggles, and the May 7 campaign is intended to show them that there are people in their life who care about them and are willing to listen and help. To support parents, caregivers, teachers, and other caring adults, FamilySmart hosts virtual events and shares resources that will help them connect with children and youth, and have meaningful conversations about mental health.

There are many ways to get involved with National Child & Youth Mental Health Day. You can let the kids and youth in your life know that you’re there for them if they ever need to talk, look up resources on how to provide emotional support and guidance to children and young people, donate to a mental health charity for children and young people, and spread the word about the observance on social media with the hashtags #ChildrenAndYouthMentalHealthDay, #ICare, #ICareAboutYou, #May7ICare.

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National Child & Youth Mental Health Day in Canada, observances in Canada, awareness days, health-related observances, mental health