Help when it's needed most 0
To mark Children's Mental Health Week the Phoenix Centre is hosting programs, events and workshops between May 7 to 11 to raise awareness about children's mental health and family well-being.
"All children have a mental health issue at some point, but if it is not addressed it could evolve into a disorder," notes Phoenix Centre clinical manager Sharon Rees.
This week marks Mental Health week across Canada and what Ms. Rees explains "is a prevention piece, an awareness piece and a way to kind of take away the stigma of mental health because everybody has it."
Over the years the centre, named after the mythological bird that perished in fire to be reborn in better form, has developed numerous programs and services to aid families in becoming a stronger unit.
The agency views people seeking help and change in a similar fashion as the bird perishing and being reborn.
"I would say it takes a village to raise a child and a good parent is going to be the parent who says I need some help here," said Ms. Rees. "We are all in that place at some point."
She notes the agency provides mental health therapy for children and families from birth to age 18.
"That will cover a wide range of mental health issues," said Ms. Rees.
Covering a broad range of issues, the centre offers services and programs regarding parenting issues, sibling rivalry, loss and bereavement, school issues, sexual abuse and other trauma related issues and child attachment concerns.
She mentioned that a lot of families struggle with communication, but the two main areas the centre deals with is separation and divorce and anxiety and depression issues.
To educate children on mental health the centre will be visiting local schools with their Friends and Neighbour puppet program, plus it will have mental health information kiosks set up in local high schools on Monday May 7.
"We are going to have a high school team at schools in the Pembroke area," said Ms. Rees.
On Tuesday the agency will host a continental breakfast between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to stop by the Pembroke office to tour the facility and learn more about their services.
Also on Tuesday there will be a mental health story time at the Petawawa Library at 10 a.m. and Pembroke Library at 11 a.m.
On Wednesday the puppet shows, kiosk and story time at both libraries will continue with the same timings plus the centre will host a free craft and magic show for children ages six to nine beginning at 6 p.m. at the Pembroke office. Parents are asked to register their children as space is limited.
On Thursday the centre is hosing two workshops. Running throughout the day at the Marguerite Centre is Engaging Fathers Professional Workshop and in the evening Partners in Parenting Community Workshop will take place at the Pembroke Public Library. Pre-registration is required for both programs.
The agency is wrapping the week up with a tree planting ceremony at Rotary Park featuring Pembroke Mayor Ed Jacyno.
"We will be giving out copies of the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to the first 25 families," explained Ms. Rees.
For more information about the Phoenix Centre or to inquire about the activities planned for Mental Health week visit www.phoenixpembroke.com, call 613-735-2374 or visit 130 Pembroke Street West, Suite 200.
Cyndi Mills is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist