The public can ensure kids can be kids even when their parents are struggling with mental health.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is hosting its Mixing it Up for Mental Health fundraiser April 22, and the funds will go towards expanding the Super Saturday program, which is focused on youth.
“This is a chance to learn more about the impact this program has made for youth in our community and how you can help,” said Cassandra Schwarz, community engagement and fund development officer
Among those who benefit from Super Saturday is Jessica, a 12-year-old whose mother has a serious and persistent mental illness.
“Due to the severity of her mother’s symptoms, Jessica often acts as a caregiver for her brother and they frequently require the services of foster care,” said Schwarz.
”Jessica is a kind, bright young girl that has recently experienced symptoms of anxiety.”
To help youth like Jessica, CMHA Vernon developed the Super Saturday program two years ago to provide a safe place to connect socially while providing a place where children can feel their emotions and deal with the stigma families often face when impacted by mental illness or addiction issues.
The program also provides an opportunity for parents to focus on their own self-care while their children are participating.
“One Saturday a month, children ages seven to 12 get a fun filled day of activities they might not otherwise get the chance to experience, all the while building a peer support network with other children facing similar circumstances,” said Schwarz
“Over the past two years, the program has changed the lives of children in our community and CMHA Vernon is looking to expand the program to offer a safe, supportive, fun and educational peer support network to youth ages 13 to 17.”
Mixing It Up For Mental Health will be at at Durali Villa form 6 to 9 p.m. and it includes appies and a silent auction. Tickets are $35 each and they are available at Nolan’s Pharmasave or CMHA, 3100 28th Ave.
For more information, go to vernoncmha.bc.ca or call 250542-3114.