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Music, sports, activities of all sorts on tap for Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Week activities scheduled throughout the city May 6 to May 11
2018-05-10 The Skys The Limit DMH-16
Tianna Legacy performes during The Sky's the Limit presented by Algoma Family Services on Thursday, May 10, 2018 for Children's Mental Health Week. Donna Hopper/SooToday

Algoma Family Services (AFS) in partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Nogdawindamin and Strong Minds will be hosting a number of activities across the district in recognition of Child, Youth and Adult Mental Health week from May 6 to May 11, 2019.

Children’s Mental Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Week both occur in May. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness about mental health, share information on services and to reduce stigma. One in five people will be challenged by their mental health, with 70 per cent of mental health challenges emerging in adolescence. Currently, there are over 6,500 children in the province of Ontario waiting more than a year for service. What this highlights is the need for more resources to reduce these wait times.

Green is the symbolic colour in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Week. The communities in Algoma are encouraged to wear green ribbons and light their buildings green. Green lightbulbs have been stocked at Soo Mill in Sault Ste. Marie and Elliot Lake. Please take a picture of your home or business lit up green and submit to the AFS Facebook page.

The following is a list of activities planned for the week of May 6. The theme of the week is ‘The Sky’s The Limit’:
    •    Infant Mental Health event Tuesday, May 7 - West End Community Centre, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Yoga, crafts, storytime, DrumFit, and build-a-snack. Contact Child Care Algoma (705) 945-8898 ext. 255.
    •    Infant Mental Health event Wednesday, May 8 - Garden River Community Centre, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Crafts, DrumFit, Ignite Brain and Body Exercise, and build-a-snack. To register, call (705) 946-5710 ext. 245
    •    4th annual The Sky’s the Limit Concert featuring local band, Lime, and Tianna Legacy on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Korah Collegiate. Tickets are $5/person or $20/family of 4+. Tickets are available at AFS reception and will be available at the door.
    •    Infant Mental Health event Friday, May 10 - Arthur Henderson Public School, Bruce Mines, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Crafts, DrumFit, Ignite Brain and Body Exercise, and build-a-snack. To register Call Megan (705) 542-5661.
    •    2nd annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on Saturday, May 11 at White Pines.
    •    2nd Annual Strong Minds 5 km run Saturday, May 11 at Roberta Bondar Pavilion.

“I would like to extend on behalf of the AFS board and leadership team our great appreciation to the Children’s Mental Health Week Planning Committee and our community partners for their awesome work in planning all the great activities. We greatly encourage the community to join in on these activities, have some fun. learn more about mental health and the services available. Your participation goes a long way in reducing the stigma associated at times with mental health. Remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Let’s get Loud for Mental Health!” said Ali Juma, CEO, Algoma Family Services.

To learn more about Children’s Mental Health Week, please visit the Children’s Mental Health Ontario website or the Canadian Mental Health Association website for information on adult mental health. Be sure to check out the Algoma Family Services Facebook page.