I Care About You

By Keli Anderson

 

"Don't you think there should be a day in our country for child and youth mental health" is what myself and another mom were discussing over a cup of coffee in the summer of 2006.  In that moment we decided that we would create that day and we got our calendars out of our purses.

 We picked May 7 because the year was going to be 2007 and we got busy planning for an event for the day.  The first National Child and Youth Mental Health Day in Canada happened in Vancouver on May 7, 2007.

In 2008, a visit to the US to connect with a mother who was running the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health resulted in another amazing conversation between 2 moms. Sandra Spencer shared a green ribbon they were using for children's mental health and together we decided we would both use the ribbon so our 2 nations could come together as families through the ribbon. These ribbons were made available in Canada for May 7, 2009 and, we added Child & Youth Mental Health Matters to the ribbon.

May 7th developed over the years and transformed from one big event to over 130 events and activities in 2013 and that same year, the theme for the day became I Care About You.

I Care About You is about building connections between children, youth and caring adults.  Over 100 posters were received from schools and communities in 2013 that showed kids' responses to one question;  "I know you care about me when..."  From these responses, we created this I Care About You video.

As Bev Ogilvie has so aptly stated "Caring is a worthiness builder for all children and youth"

I ask that you show you care, as does the Dalai Lama Center, and join others who care at familysmart.ca 

 

Keli  Anderson is President & CEO of the National Institute of Families for Child & Youth Mental Health. She has a son with significant mental health challenges and has been instrumental in creating awareness and change regarding child & youth mental health in BC and across Canada. Keli's own experiences and her connection to thousands of other families make her a strong champion for child and youth mental health. She has received many awards for her efforts including the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2007 and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

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