"Mental Health is A Family Affair" lecture
MENTAL HEALTH IS A FAMILY AFFAIR
Low-Beer Lecture, September 27
Information (514) 486-1448
Montreal – AMI-Quebec will present Beyond Their Age: Youth Caring for a Family Member, on Thursday, September 27 at 7pm at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall (7141 Sherbrooke West). A collaboration with the Psychology Department of Concordia University, the 45-minute documentary I am Still Your Child (Catbird Films, 2017) will be screened followed by a panel discussion with Jessy, Von and Sarah. All three film protagonists have been caregivers to a parent with mental illness despite their young age at the time. Also on the panel will be Megan Durnford, the film director, and Rebecca Heinisch, Founder of Anna and the Sea, a non-profit organization that works to promote the health and well-being of children with a parent experiencing mental illness.
In Canada, a growing number of youth provide an increasing level of unpaid care to family members with chronic illness, disability, mental health or substance use issues and problems related to old age. Stats Canada census data (2012) shown that over 1.18 million youth (15-24 years old) were providing some level of unpaid care in 2006, a 13.5% increase from 1996.
While caregiving can have many benefits, there are often negative outcomes to young carers (time away from friends and school, social isolation and heightened stress with impact on school retention, post secondary education, employment, health and wellbeing). Reaching out to young carers and providing them with proper support would mitigate the negative consequences of caregiving in the present, but also prevent potential significant negative outcomes in the future.
Thus far, the topic of young carers remains a nascent issue within Canada, with no dedicated policies acknowledging their care-work. This event is designed to help put young carers on the map and increase awareness about the challenges they face and their need for support.
For the past 41 years, AMI-Québec has been committed to helping families manage the effects of mental illness through support, education, guidance and advocacy. By promoting understanding, we work to dispel the stigma still surrounding mental illness, thereby helping to create communities that offer new hope for meaningful lives.