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Campaign to focus on mental wellbeing of young Bermudians

A charity has launched a mental health awareness campaign focused on issues faced by young Bermudians.

The campaign, launched by Family Centre in partnership with RBK Advertising + Design and One Communications, is intended to educate the public about how to recognise mental health concerns among children and teenagers.

Sandy De Silva, Family Centre executive director, said the pandemic had made it even more important to be conscious of the issues faced by young people.

Dr De Silva said: “The past year and a half has thrown us challenge after challenge.

“As adults, we are navigating through these challenging times and perhaps even struggling ourselves, so it is easy to overlook how it may be affecting our children emotionally and mentally.”

A recent survey showed that 82 per cent of Bermuda residents agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic had increased mental health issues, but only half said they could tell if a child or teenager was suffering from depression.

Dr De Silva said: “The aim of our campaign is to grow awareness of what mental health is and the role it plays in a child’s daily functioning and their overall quality of life.

“It is critical for the public to know what local mental health resources are available to them, for both children and their families.”

She added that mental health issues could appear differently in young people than they do in adults and children might have difficulty voicing their feelings.

Dr De Silva said: “Many parents may be unaware that a child is suffering internally.

“Our goal is to bring to light some of the significant and subtle changes in behaviour that could be symptoms or warning signs.

“These include children no longer taking pleasure in the things they used to enjoy doing, irregular eating and sleeping patterns, a change in academic performance or even on the sports field.”

Kathryn Kelly, president and CEO of RBK Advertising + Design, said the campaign hoped to shed light on the warning signs that could suggest a young person was suffering internally.

She said: “The goal is to educate more parents or caregivers on how to read the signs that something could be wrong and get children the help they need.

“We’ve been very happy to donate our services to Family Centre over the years in supporting their initiatives to help the children and families of Bermuda.”

Frank Amaral, CEO of One Communications, said the firm was happy to be able to support Family Centre’s campaign.

He said: “As a community, we need to stand together in the midst of a pandemic, to recognise the signs in our children and ensure they are able to navigate their emotions and feelings during these unprecedented times.”

Any parent concerned that their child is suffering from a mental illness, or who would like more information about Family Centre’s programmes, can call 232-1116 or visit www.tfc.bm.

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Published October 09, 2021 at 7:50 am (Updated October 09, 2021 at 7:17 am)

Campaign to focus on mental wellbeing of young Bermudians

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