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#MHForAll Webinar: How much do you know about child mental health?

Did you know that mental illness is considered the number one threat to the health, wellbeing and productivity of young people? A shocking 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents suffer from a mental health illness, and around half of all conditions start by age 14.

So how is mental health being integrated into early childhood development programmes? And what is being done to catalyse policy change in this area?

On Tuesday 6th April the #MHForAll webinar will be exploring these questions and more in Part 1 of our discussion around Child and Youth Mental Health, this time with a particular focus on early childhood development.
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This week's panel of speakers includes:
  • Andrea Torres, Bernard Van Leer Foundation
  • Bruno Rivalan, Global Financial Facility
  • Giselle Dass, Child, Adolescent and Family Services
  • Benjamin Perks, State of the World's Children Report
  • Zeinab Hijazi, UNICEF


If you have any questions you'd like to ask our panelists, please submit them to the Webinar Team at webinars@unitedgmh.org before Tuesday 6th April.

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The key messages from the #MHForAll 'How much do you know about child mental health?' session are:

The mental health of parents and caregivers can significantly shape children's futures. It can have a huge impact on cognitive development and risk of mental ill health for the child, in both the short and long term.

Connection is critical. A major risk factor for children is when connection is disrupted, in the family, in the community, and in school. Having a sense of belonging within the community is a major preventative factor when it comes to developing a mental health condition.

We need greater investment in support for caregivers. There are many cost effective interventions, such as parenting programmes and coaching. We must invest in caregivers in the same way that we invested in vaccines –– to be universally accessible for all.

We must invest in early screening and treatment for maternal depression. This will have a high return of investment not just for women, but for the whole family and the whole of society.

Now is the time to act. We are at a unique time in history, and know more than ever before about both the risks and issues to childhood mental health. If we don’t increase investment now, lives will be lost.

The full notes are also available.

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The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Ontario.
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