Each year, the Institute of Families for Child & Youth Mental Health (Doing Business as the F.O.R.C.E. in BC), dedicates its efforts on May 7th; Child and Youth Mental Health day, to help foster well-being and ‘caring, connected, relationships’ between young people and caring adults. This year marks the Ten Year Anniversary of that commitment!
Lots has been said about parents not connecting with their kids about their mental health, but we feel that besides saying this, it is important to give parents and other caring adults some tools to help with having the conversation with young people. So, this May 7th is about the conversations between children, youth and caring adults in their lives.
At a youth mental health event in 2016, we asked high school students “How do you want adults to talk to you about your mental health? What do you want them TO SAY and DON’T SAY?” Over 400 students from grades 8-12 wrote down how they would like to be spoken to, and not spoken to when talking about their mental health. Using their words, we have created a resource we are calling the “The Unfolding Conversation” (youth version). Click here>>
Additionally, we have created “The Unfolding Conversation” (children’s version). This one is an activity we are hoping that teachers will do with students and then encourage them to take it home to their parents with a one-pager describing the activity.
In the 1800s, the colour green was used to brand people who were labeled “insane”. The children’s mental health community decided to continue using the colour green, but with a completely different focus.
Green signifies new life, new growth and new beginnings.Therefore, we wear green ribbons to raise public awareness and support the mental health of all children, youth and their families.