MEDIA ADVISORY & BACKGROUNDER

Vancouver, B.C. – On February 12, 2015, more than 1,500 youth from across BC will come together at Rogers Arena to engage in activities and discussion about mental wellness at the Balancing Our Minds 2015: Everyday Champions of Wellness youth summit. The Balancing our Minds summit is organized by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS), an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), in collaboration with Canucks Sports & Entertainment and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

The youth summit is a free, one-day event for high school age youth (13-18 years old) that will build awareness of mental health and substance use, help decrease negative stigma towards individuals experiencing mental health challenges, connect youth with mental health resources, and promote mental wellness in schools and communities across BC. The theme for the event is recognizing and becoming an everyday champion for mental wellness. Youth speakers will share their personal experiences, talk about their mental wellness champions, and present ideas about how youth can be champions for others in their communities.

The MHCC is providing financial and in kind support to Balancing Our Minds as a part of its national HEADSTRONG initiative that is dedicated to the reduction of stigmatizing attitudes and behaviours towards mental health problems and mental illnesses among youth. The Balancing Our Minds summit is a part of a series of youth anti-stigma summits, organized by the MHCC and local partners, being held in communities across Canada.

Event Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: Media are invited to attend from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Location: Rogers Arena
Directions: Media can enter Rogers Arena through Gate 9 (located off of Griffiths Way).
More information at: rogersarena.com/plan-your-visit/parking

Quotes
Dr. Connie Coniglio, Provincial Executive Director, BCMHSUS
“This summit was created by youth who are passionate about mental wellness, and we wanted to build a platform where youth could share their stories and inspire each other. We hope this event will inspire youth to become champions for mental wellness in their schools and communities.” 

Ed Mantler, Vice-President, Programs and Priorities Mental Health Commission of Canada
“Today’s summit connects British Columbia with a movement happening all across Canada. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has created HEADSTRONG to help students across the country to get on board and to join in the battle to help bring an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness. We are pleased to be working with BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services to spread this message.”

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS), an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), provides specialized provincial mental health services to British Columbians. Together, we help British Columbians be healthy by providing health awareness and promotion information and the tools to assist people to make healthier choices.

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Media Contact: Heather Oliver
Communications Officer
Provincial Health Services
Authority
604.875.3732
Media pager 604-871-5699


Backgrounder

MINDCHECK.CA

Mindcheck.ca is a British Columbia-based website for teens and young adults (ages 13-25) that seeks to encourage early recognition of mental health challenges and connection to appropriate resources and supports. The mindcheck.ca website is managed in partnership between BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services and Fraser Health. The site was launched in 2012, with support from Canucks Sports & Entertainment.

Mindcheck.ca features the personal accounts of Kevin Bieksa, interactive quizzes and information, and connections to resources and local services. To broaden the reach and increase public awareness and support for mental health challenges, BC residents had the opportunity to add their video to the “In One Voice” 2012 campaign within the site by recording and uploading a pledge.

By enhancing the mental health literacy of British Columbians, the collaboration between the Vancouver Canucks and BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services supports early recognition of mental health concerns, encourages the use of effective self‐care strategies, and facilitates navigation of mental health services in BC.

HEADSTRONG

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has launched a national youth anti-stigma campaign. Known as HEADSTRONG, the initiative acts as a catalyst and coordinating agent between community organizations, schools, and youth to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and mental illnesses among youth. Regional youth summits are occurring across Canada over the coming months with youth leaders organizing anti-stigma activities in their schools. Summit participants have been using #mhccheadstrong on Twitter.

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Media Contact: Heather Oliver
Communications Officer
Provincial Health Services
Authority
604.875.3732
Media pager 604-871-5699

Read the Press Release (PDF)