Share Your Family's Experience Supporting a Child or Youth with a Mental Health Challenge

on November 24, 2011

by Meredith

BC Mental Health & Addiction Services is creating a cross-cultural mental health literacy video and is looking for families of various cultural backgrounds to participate!

Did you know that 1 in 5 children and youth in BC have experienced a mental health challenge? And that the lifetime risk of developing a mental health issue is nearly 25%? Given these numbers, it is likely that many of us have personally experienced a mental health challenge or have supported a friend or family member experiencing a mental health concern.

But what we may not realize is that our individual experiences and understandings of mental illness can be quite different. How we view, discuss, and manage mental health concerns is shaped by our beliefs and experiences, cultural and social norms, and the environment and people we interact with.

Stigma and misconceptions about mental health can sometimes prevent individuals and families from talking about their mental health, and from seeking information, help, and support when needed. In some cultural communities, it can be especially difficult to talk about mental health issues or to seek information and support because of certain social and cultural factors.

So how can we begin to break down stigma and misconceptions? One way is to begin to talk more about our experiences with mental illness.

As a way to encourage more open conversation about mental health, BC Mental Health & Addiction Services is creating a cross-cultural mental health awareness video. The video will feature families of various cultural backgrounds sharing their family’s story of having a child or youth who has experienced a mental health challenge. Families will reflect on their experiences with accessing information, support, and treatment, and will share insights and tips that they think other families would benefit from.

The purpose of the video is to:

  • Help illustrate that mental health challenges can occur within families of all cultural backgrounds.

  • Help break down stigma and misconceptions about mental health and mental illnesses.

  • Help direct viewers to where they can obtain information and resources on mental health.

Would your family like to be involved? If you are interested in reflecting on your family’s experience and in encouraging other families experiencing similar situations or mental health challenges to seek information and support, please email me for more information about the project:

Keep an eye out for the video on the Kelty website in the New Year!!


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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.