November 28, 2011 (Ottawa) —The Royal is launching ‘Is it just me? Conversations about mental health’. This educational initiative will provide high school students with a better understanding of how mental health affects their thoughts, moods and behaviors, and when and how to seek help.
“Over the past year, our community has become acutely aware of issues related to youth mental health,” said Nicole Loreto, Chief Communications Officer and Community Engagement at The Royal. “There has been an explosion in demand from parents, educators and youth themselves for knowledge about how to recognize and manage mental illness. ‘Is it just me? Conversations about mental health’ speaks directly to young people to help them better understand what they’re feeling and encourage them to seek help when needed. Addressing mental illness early helps to improve recovery and balance in one’s life and reduces the risk of suicide.”
Over 700 students from 14 schools across the Ottawa Valley will attend the inaugural sessions of ‘Is it just me? Conversations about mental health’ at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. During the sessions, mental health survivors will share personal stories about living with a mental illness and how they got help. Students will also hear from doctors and mental health researchers who will explain signs and symptoms of mental illness, what is going on in the brain that makes us feel the ways we do, and some resiliency techniques to help them reduce stress and remain healthy.
With support from Xerox, The Royal will host four sessions of ‘Is it just me? Conversations about mental health’ in November and December, covering two different topics.
- Feeling Depressed or Anxious, Healthy minds for healthy bodies (November 28 and December 6)
- Booze and Drugs: The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly (November 29 and December 5)
“Our communities have only just begun to talk openly about youth mental health,” said Emechete Onuoha, Vice President, Citizenship and Government Affairs at Xerox Canada. “We need to keep encouraging and broadening these conversations. As a knowledge-based organization, Xerox appreciates the enormous human potential of healthy minds; that’s why we are supporting this innovative, educational initiative delivered by the Royal.”
The Royal is one of Canada’s foremost mental health care and academic health science centres. Its mandate is simple: to get more people living with mental illness into recovery faster. The Royal combines the delivery of specialized mental health care, advocacy, research and education to transform the lives of people with complex and treatment resistant mental illness. The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health raises funds that support The Royal’s work while placing a sharp focus on awareness building through the You Know Who I Am campaign. For more information, please visit www.theroyal.ca.