Ring A Bell for Youth Mental Health This Week in New Brunswick
The sixth annual New Brunswick Ring A Bell Campaign, which provides opportunity to raise awareness about the mental health needs of youth, takes place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.
Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny says the campaign is coordinated by Dots NB/Partners For Youth, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and Bell Aliant.
Throughout the week, mental health lesson plans and resources will be introduced in schools. The effort will culminate Dec. 2 at noon when students from kindergarten to Grade 8 will be invited to ring bells for one minute. Kenny says the collective act is meant to symbolically draw attention to the importance of ensuring children’s mental health needs are met and that their voices are heard.
Dots NB Partners for Youth coordinator Cindy Miles says bells were traditionally used to call a community together. She says every young person in the province needs to know that they are not alone and that it is okay to ask for help. "When we collaboratively come together and support opportunities for open conversations about mental health, we begin to break down the silence and stigma that are often barriers to youth and their families in getting the supports they need.”
In September, Kenney says the New Brunswick government expanded the Integrated Service Delivery model for providing mental health, addiction, intervention and social services to children and youth to a total of 146 schools in the province.
The model, offered at the community level, ties together services from the departments of Education and Early Childhood Development, Social Development, Health, and Justice and Public Safety.
Children and youth may access the program through their school or another community service.
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