TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Myles Ahead, Advancing Child & Youth Mental Health ("Myles Ahead") launches a month-long fundraiser on Giving Tuesday (November 30, 2021) with the generous support of Enbridge Gas. For the remainder of 2021, Enbridge Gas will match all donations up to $15,000.
A national charity, Myles Ahead was founded in memory of Myles Kulperger after his death by suicide at age 11 in 2018. After losing her son, Leslie Kulperger was compelled to translate the challenges she faced trying to help Myles during his life to support closing the mental health system gaps and failures that she experienced. With roughly 70 percent of mental health challenges beginning during childhood or adolescence, Leslie's mission is to co-design and support the implementation of practical system-wide solutions that help children, youth, parents, and caregivers access appropriate mental health care without delay. "My experience with Myles revealed enormous and distressing gaps in the mental health care system while I tried to find him the help that he needed," says Leslie. "After losing Myles, I knew our experience could provide transformative insights for the system of care - seeing those failures as opportunities."
Canada has the third highest youth suicide rate of all OECD countries
The number of youth in hospital after a suicide attempt tripled over a four-month period during the pandemic
Mental health related ER visits by Canadians aged five to 24 increased by 75 percent between 2006 and 2018
"Systems to support mental health are woefully oversubscribed and underfunded, leading to challenges finding support, long waitlists, and unfortunately, many people turning to the hospital ERs when experiencing mental health distress. But ERs have not been designed to serve this need," adds Leslie. "Our experiences in the ER were incredibly traumatic. Myles was restrained by security guards and sedated. We waited hours for the on-call psychiatry teams. I was in shock. Myles was traumatized."
One priority for Myles Ahead is to help redesign hospital ERs to better serve the increasing mental health needs of the communities they serve. The charity will soon be launching, SafER Space, an initiative for advancing the ER design, processes, and supports to better serve the needs of children & youth in mental health distress.
SafER Space Initiative
The SafER Space Initiative reimagines Emergency Rooms (ERs) to intentionally and holistically serve the mental health needs of children and youth who have turned to hospitals in times of a mental health crisis. Developed with evidence-based research and a continuous-improvement approach, SafER Space consists of a scalable framework and transformation toolkit for implementation and sustainment.
The framework and toolkit include practical guidelines and considerations for mental health supports, processes, and interior designs for hospitals' co-design of their ERs to embody elements that soothe, comfort, and promote feeling safe. Myles Ahead will be working with strategic partners to help mobilize the implementation of the SafER Space framework and toolkit in hospitals throughout Canada, prioritizing ERs within children's hospitals and pediatric psychiatry units.
"We are honoured that Enbridge Gas is supporting Myles Ahead by matching donations up to $15,000 until the end of December," says Stacey Espinet, Board Director for Myles Ahead and Research Psychologist. "It is heartwarming to see their commitment to support our efforts to advance child and youth mental health system solutions."
Myles Ahead has chosen Giving Tuesday to launch this month-long campaign supported by Enbridge Gas. Leveraging this global Giving Tuesday movement, driven by individuals, charities, businesses, and communities who want to make a difference, will bring greater awareness to Myles Ahead and the great work they are doing.
About Myles Ahead: Myles Ahead, Advancing Child & Youth Mental Health, is a national registered charity dedicated to improving mental health services and school-based programming for children, youth, and their families with the ultimate goal of life promotion / suicide prevention.
About Enbridge Gas: Enbridge Gas is Canada's largest natural gas storage, transmission, and distribution company based in Ontario, with more than 170 years of service to customers. The distribution business provides safe, affordable, and reliable energy to about 3.8 million homes, businesses, and industries, leading the transition to a clean energy future through net-zero emissions targets and investments in innovative low-carbon energy solutions. The storage and transmission business offers a variety of storage and transportation services to customers at the Dawn Hub, the largest integrated underground storage facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Enbridge Gas is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian-based leader in energy transportation and distribution. Learn more at www.enbridgegas.com.
SOURCE Myles Ahead, Advancing Child & Youth Mental Health
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