You Can Help Kids in Crisis
Where did the summer go? The nights are cooler, the leaves are changing colours and November is around the corner.
But this is not a typical fall, things everywhere are very different than what we are all used to. Unprecedented times, a new normal, whatever you may call our current reality, everyone has been affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, even if not directly.
Since the beginning of the quarantine, our essential services have remained open to help children and youth who had nowhere else to go. Our Children’s Mental Health Centre continued to support kids who needed mental health treatment support day and night, and our youth shelter at Safe Haven Youth Services kept its doors open to welcome youth who might otherwise have been living on the street.
These services remained open because of our front-line heroes. We are so proud of these staff members who were pioneers for the rest of our team. They adapted quickly, implemented all the changing COVID-19-related safety precautions, and continued to provide our usual high level of service and compassion for the sake of these kids.
Lutherwood staff are learning as we go just like you, collaborating and connecting through online calls and meetings took quite a bit of getting used to. For many of our services, we turned to technology to deliver support virtually. This option ensures that we continue to be there for the folks who turn to us for help.
Anxiety, depression, addiction and other mental health and life challenges can be hard to manage even without the added pressures of COVID-19. And the pandemic is far from over. The isolation that you may be feeling as a resultof months of social distancing and small bubbles of social contact can be a stressful and emotional experience, and often overwhelming for many adults.
Imagine what it is like for a child.
A new survey by Ipsos finds that nearly 60 per cent of all Ontario parents have seen changes in their children’s behaviour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including outbursts, extreme irritability, drastic mood changes, difficulty sleeping and persistent sadness.
In early September, the children and youth in our day treatment classes came to school at Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health Centre. It is a new place for them, where they don’t know anyone. Some of them as young as six years old, arriving alone by taxicab, carrying their lunch box and their car seat. These children who are already dealing with preexisting mental health concerns are also trying to cope with the additional layers of stress that COVID-19 brings.
These are kids in crisis and in need of your help.
"We have been able to create a safe place where children and families can receive the support they need, when they need it most. This would not have been possible without the support of our donors and the Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation." — Heather Fedy, Director of Operations, Mental Health Services
More than 1 million children and youth in Canada suffer from mental health issues. It is hard to consider that number represents one out of every five children in a typical classroom. In Waterloo Region, that is 26,000 young people. And those are pre-COVID-19 numbers.
Lutherwood has proactively and consistently responded to the needs of children and youth in our community who struggle with their mental health for 50 years.
We know that you trust us, and that you believe in your community. Your support enables the work that we do.
How we collectively respond in the coming year, will be critical.
Now more than ever, the children in your community need your help.
Lutherwood has been paying attention – we are ready to provide the help that children and youth in our community require. But, with an increasing number of children needing support due to the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health we need your help to get us there.
Often those suffering from mental health issues feel alone and don’t know which way to turn. Lutherwood’s services give kids hope and skills for a brighter future.
No child should feel alone. We ask you to please join us with a gift to help kids in crisis.
Your donations support specialized services that do not receive government funding such as music therapy, nursing services and recreational opportunities. These are just a few examples of how your gift helps kids become successful.
We can’t accomplish this on our own. Together, as individuals, neighbours, and community, we can let the children and youth of our Region know that they are not alone and that help is available.
Thank you for any gift you can provide.
You are a caring person, who is strengthening lives.
P.S. If you know a child or youth who may benefit from Lutherwood’s support; Front Door Access to Children and Youth Mental Health Services is the best place to start. Visit www.frontdoormentalhealth.com or call 519-749-2932 to learn more.