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Parent group to push for better child mental health

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

Jennifer McCann didn’t think twice when asked to lead a new group for families raising children with mental health issues in Sarnia.

“I’m a grandparent and my grandson is struggling with mental health,” said McCann. “And I’m struggling with the education system.

“I’m hearing from people that lots of parents in this community are in need of more help as well.”

Jennifer McCann

McCann will head up the new Sarnia chapter of Parents for Children’s Mental Health, in collaboration with St. Clair Child & Youth Services and the Lambton Family Advisory Committee.

The group will join chapters across Ontario that provide support groups and peer-to-peer assistance finding resources and navigating the children’s mental health system.

An open house is scheduled for Thursday, May 10 at St. Clair Child & Youth Services in Point Edward, at 7 p.m.

“We’ll be putting out a survey to see what the needs are, and we’re looking at planning regular meetings,” she said. “The goal is to get parents together so we can have a stronger voice.”

An estimated 654,000 children in Ontario suffer from a mental health disorder, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, though only one in five are receiving treatment.

For every dollar spent on early intervention and treatment of mental illness in children and youth, an estimated seven dollars is saved in the provincial economy.

“It’s just so needed in our community,” said McCann, who is also a member of the Lambton Family Advisory Committee. “With so many chapters across the province, all our voices together will make an impact when they go to change the legislation.

“We advocate for family-centred care, and stress that family engagement is the most important thing.”



WHAT: Sarnia Parents for Children’s Mental Health, Open House

WHEN: Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m.

WHERE: St. Clair Child & Youth, 129 Kendall St., Point Edward

DETAILS: For more information, contact [email protected]


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