TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/13 -- Editors note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.
SickKids Foundation today announced the launch of its second annual Healthy and Happy campaign to build awareness of pressing children's health issues and the need for community support to further research and patient care.
The month-long education and awareness campaign, which was awarded gold for 'Best Integrated Fundraising Campaign' at the Canadian Marketing Association Gala last year, kicked off today with a proclamation from the City of Toronto presented by Mayor Rob Ford at the hospital declaring May SickKids Healthy and Happy month. The campaign is built on one premise - every child deserves to be healthy and happy.
This year's Healthy and Happy campaign aims to raise awareness of child and youth mental health - including prevention, signs and symptoms, trends, treatment and care. Today, between 10 and 20 per cent of youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder. For children with a physical illness, the percentage is even higher.
"Mental illness is the single most common contributor to distress for children, youth and their families worldwide, yet in Ontario, only one in six children receive the mental health services they need," says Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). "This year's Healthy and Happy campaign is an important initiative to enhance public awareness about the troubling statistics with respect to child and youth mental health. Hopefully these discussions will stimulate action to enhance support and treatment for young patients with mental illness and their families."
To support the campaign and learn more, SickKids invites the community to play a fun and interactive online game aimed at starting the conversation about mental health. youandme - a mental health discovery game for youth and adults prompts players to answer four multiple choice questions about how their friend, child, brother or sister would react in everyday situations. Once completed, the participant has the option to share and compare their answers via email with the other person to see what they learned.
Not only will players learn more about themselves and others by playing the youandme discovery game, but they can also earn AIR MILES reward miles for their participation. The first 20,000 AIR MILES Collectors to initiate and play the game can earn 20 AIR MILES® reward miles.
"Healthy and Happy is an important campaign to engage the community and allow everyone to show their support for children's health," says Ted Garrard, President and CEO, SickKids Foundation. "SickKids is so much more than a place where kids go to heal. Through research, education and care, SickKids is changing the face of children's health, and we need the community's support so we can ultimately live in a world where every child is healthy and happy."
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