Designing Minds: Canadian creators come together in support of children’s mental health

Mental health is a priority here at Addicted Magazine, which is why we are excited to let you know about an amazing online auction happening right now which focuses on raising funds for mental health – but not for us, for children and youth who often need it most.

Over 40 fashion and accessory brands have come together with some of Canada’s most inspirational and notable names in entertainment, business, arts, and philanthropy to raise funds for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and New Start Foundation for Addiction and Mental Health through an online auction event, Designing Minds.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Designing Minds (@designing__minds)

To find out more, we chatted with Sandra Hawken, CEO, and President of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation on how children have been impacted during the course of the pandemic, especially their mental health.

 

How has the pandemic impacted children’s and youth’s mental health overall? 

Currently, many kids—and especially those with disabilities or who are immunocompromised—are feeling the exponential negative impacts on their mental health, like anxiety and depression, because they have to isolate and social distance. In fact, during the first wave of the pandemic, between April to June 2020, one of the studies we collaborated on, showed that 70% of school-aged kids and youth in Ontario said they had their mental health harmed. And for kids with disabilities, especially, that risk of mental illness is 2 to 3 times higher. And for a lot of our younger clients, we’ve seen time and time again, how disruptions to their routines and lifestyle changes that come with lockdown have negatively impacted their mental health, especially in our clients with autism spectrum disorder. And I believe we are on the brink of a mental health crisis.

 

How has Holland Bloorview been impacted by the demand for more families needing help? 

More than ever, the clients and families we serve need our help. Whether it was through virtually pivoting our programs and appointments to make sure our clients and families still had access, to making sure we have the right personal protective equipment and preventative practices, our hospital teams have worked tirelessly around the clock to keep our clients safe without compromising quality and care.

I also couldn’t be more grateful that at the start of this pandemic when our families needed access to fiunding to help with the curveballs life threw their way, our community truly rallied to make it possible. home. In a short time span, we as a community were able to raise even more funds for our families to ensure they had access to financial aid for housing security, food security, clothing, and hygienic products. The commitment from our staff, volunteers, donors, and families truly shows the resilient spirit of Holland Bloorview.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Designing Minds (@designing__minds)


How did the partnership with New Start Foundation happen? 

CIBC is one of Holland Bloorview’s most important partners as a key funder of programs and research for accessibility, mental wellness and much more for kids and youth with disabilities. They helped initiated the great partnership with New Start Foundation because of our closely aligned values and work.  As neighbours in the Leaside community it was a perfect match and we are so grateful to partner and collaborate to help further their work and ours.

 

Tell us a little bit more the Facing Your Fears program and how families can get the help they need. 

Facing Your Fears is a program we offer to help improve anxiety symptoms in kids and youth with autism spectrum disorder. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program runs for approximately three months, and we work with parents and kids on a weekly basis to identify worries, develop coping strategies, and practice managing anxiety.  Right now, due to the pandemic, it is being conducted online—but it is amazing to see how many families we can still help, even virtually.

Make you bids on collaborations from the likes of Sasha Exeter, Lauren Lee Smith, NARCES, Cindy Sampson, Christopher Paunil, Lesley Hampton, and more at designingminds.ca until Sunday, May 2, 2021, at 3:00 pm ET.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Designing Minds (@designing__minds)

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Addicted Magazine. Her myriad of addictions include music, fashion, travel, technology, boxing and trying to make the world a better place. Nadia is also a feminist, an animal lover, and a neverending dreamer. Keep up with her on social media through @thenadiae.
Nadia Elkharadly