Mental illness has been emerging as a significant, and arguably one of the most prominent issues among youth, over the last few years. Mental illness can be a debilitating challenge for youth; depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, stigmas associated with mental illness, and the challenges that come along with suffering from mental illness can negatively impact children’s lives academically, socially, emotionally and physically.
“LIFT UP” will work to address, advise and work with youth and young adults by helping: remove the stigma associated with mental illness; identify those at risk; and offer necessary supports before mental health issues emerge. We will be focusing on depression, anxiety and “behavioral” disorders (e.g. oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) as they are some of the most commonly diagnosed disorders among youth, and with those come significantly challenging hurdles through which youth must navigate. Looking at the cause and effect including but not limited to poor body image, bullying, family influences, race, religion and sociological standing. A major element of the program will be to integrate contacts within the municipal and provincial community liaisons (law enforcement). In addition, with our direct ties into the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Argonauts we will work to integrate sports personalities into the campaigns, programs and educational portion of the series. The main focus however, will be on educators and community leaders.
The program will consist of 3 levels each encompassing 3 pillars:
The Levels 1. Kids age 5-10
2. Youth age 11- 17
3. Young adults age 18-22
The 3 Pillars
1. Prevention – identifying potential root causes that contribute and/or lead to mental illness to take a preventative approach to mental health issues
2. Intervention and Support – offering resources and tools to promote ways to foster and sustain mental health, in addition to providing support to youth that struggle with mental illness
3. Awareness – to help remove the stigma related to mental illness by giving a voice to those that struggle with mental illness by offering a platform for organic discourse to evolve