RING A BELL Campaign for Kids’ Mental Health

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Ring A Bell Campaign to Promote Positive Mental Health
The week of November 30th to December 4th 2015 will mark the 5th annual Dots NB / Partners For Youth Inc. Ring A Bell Campaign aimed at raising awareness on the mental health needs of children and youth. This Campaign is coordinated jointly by Dots NB / Partners For Youth Inc., Bell Aliant and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
On November 30th, as part of the campaign kick-off event, MLAs throughout the province will be visiting schools in their ridings to speak to students and staff on the importance of this issue during morning announcements.

“We, as a community, need to become more comfortable talking about youth mental health – this is how we will break down barriers, like the stigma that is often associated with mental illness and we must provide better access to services for youth and their families.” said Hon. Ed Doherty who will be visiting St. John the Baptist/King Edward School in Saint John on November 30th.

The kick-off event will be followed by the week-long Ring A Bell Campaign, during which a series of mental health lesson plans will be introduced in classrooms throughout New Brunswick. This effort will culminate on December 4th, at which time 70,000 students from kindergarten to grade 8 will be invited to sound off on this important issue by ringing bells for one minute at noon.

“It is through partnerships like these with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Bell Aliant, that we, as a community, are able to have a greater impact on our youth and their families,” said Cindy Miles, Dots NB Project Coordinator with Partners for Youth Inc. “Having youth know they are supported by their community, and having open conversations about mental health, these things are powerful and critical steps towards breaking through the silence and stigma that often surrounds this issue.”

A partner since the campaign began, Bell Aliant continues to focus on supporting mental health initiatives having a positive impact throughout the community.

“Bell Aliant is proud to partner in such a unique, youth-led movement for change over the past five years,” said Lisa Merrithew, VP Communications, Bell Canada. “We applaud the tremendous leadership of Dots NB/Partners For Youth and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in empowering youth to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.”
This year, McAdam Avenue Elementary school in Fredericton will host the official Ring a Bell ceremony on Friday, December 4th at noon.

For more information:
Cindy Miles, Dots NB / PFY Project Coordinator | 506-462-0323 ext. 2 | cmiles@partnersforyouth.ca
Isabelle Boulet, Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs | 506-457-5554 | isabelle.boulet@bellaliant.ca
Robert Duguay, Communications, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development | 506-453-2039

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