M.I. understanding (mental illness understanding) is a web-based/ community resource that builds awareness and empathy for children’s mental health issues (toddlers to pre-teens).
This website (www.miunderstanding.ca) features unique video stories that support children, parents, schools and healthcare providers dealing with childhood mental illness. The curriculum will be developed this fall through the Thames Valley District School Board to support the use of these videos in the classroom. Accompanying school exhibits help create a community of support for families dealing with mental health. M.I.understanding is a communication tool, developed to bridge the gap between mental health services and the families that require them.
One of the tools developed by M.I. understanding is the P.I.P.E. (parents in partnership with educators) program. The goal of the P.I.P.E program is to help parents create effective school partnerships to best support their child. The program does this by providing real experience advice, hands-on support, often in a facilitating or mentoring capacity. The P.I.P.E program helps parent become a positive advocate for their child by strengthening their relationship with their child’s school, increasing their understanding of their child’s needs and building their confidence as advocates.
Working in partnership with Pride London, 3 videos will be created this fall to start a conversation around gender identity, same-sex marriage, and transgender. Accompanying information has been added to the school exhibits. The curriculum will be developed through the Thames Valley District School Board to support the use of these videos in the classroom.
Kids Mental Health Optimist Club of Canada
The goal of The Kids Mental Health Optimist Club of Canada is to increase the awareness, understanding and the importance of early intervention when it comes to children’s mental health. The club thrives to create a community of support for families struggling with childhood mental health and decrease the stigma that keeps them from seeking help. Working with M.I.understanding, this partnership allowed the M.I.understanding videos to be a tool available to everyone at no cost, making them accessible to schools, medical and community programs, watched by families, and passed on to help families and children worldwide.
The Woodshed Concert Series
The Woodshed concert series started 3 years ago, in a Woodshed, in the heart of Wortley Village in London Ontario. It was all for the love of community, good music and giving back. Everyone enjoys an afternoon of music and is encouraged to bring a donation for The Kids Mental Health Optimist Club Of Canada. The club puts the money back into the community, awarding grants and supporting programs that create a community of support for families dealing with childhood mental health. This year, The Woodshed Concert series has partnered with The London Brewing Co-op to continue the tradition of good music, creating a community of support and giving back. ( www.the-woodshed.org)