- Media Release
Mental health education hub launched for youth impacted by operational stress injuries in the Family
OTTAWA, ON — June 13, 2023 — To fill the gap around educational resources on PTSI for young people in military and Veteran Families, the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families has launched a new website, MindKit.ca, created for and by youth who have loved ones that have served in either the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or the RCMP.
MindKit.ca is filled with youth-friendly tools, strategies and downloadable resources as well as real-life stories from children of Veterans. The website features a webcomic, videos, audio clips, interactive tools and hands-on coping strategies to support youth whose lives have been impacted by their Family member’s mental health injury. All resources were co-created with a youth advisory group and subject matter experts.
Laryssa Lamrock, National Strategic Advisor for Veteran Families at the Atlas Institute, said MindKit.ca offers youth a central hub to learn about mental health and what it’s like to live with PTSI in the Family. “Not only is it about recognizing and validating the experiences through shared understanding, but the information on this site will also provide youth with different ways to handle challenges.”
Lamrock added that it is important to understand that the mental health of youth can be impacted by their loved ones’ mental health. “In homes where there is an OSI or PTSI, we know that children might take on caregiving roles for their parent or additional household responsibilities such as caring for younger siblings. These added responsibilities can have a cumulative impact on a young person’s well-being.”
Speaking to the impact on youth specifically, Fardous Hosseiny, President and CEO of the Atlas Institute, explained that early intervention and targeted resources can change the trajectory of a youth’s experience. “Research shows that children of parents living with mental health challenges are at risk for a number of emotional, behavioural and social problems and this could affect all areas of their lives. These impacts may manifest in various ways, including being confused, frightened or even angry with their parent or the situation. The children might blame themselves of feel ashamed of their Family situation.” Hosseiny added that being part of a community that understands their experience will go a long way towards reducing isolation and helping them realize they are not alone. In addition, it is important to reassure young people that supports are available and that their loved one’s injury is not their fault.
To explore the new website and resources, visit MindKit.ca.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org