MEDIA RELEASE: Rally for Mental Health Support on International Youth Day

For Immediate Release August 11, 2016

Saskatoon – Members and leaders of the Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) and its Young Workers Committee (YWC) are holding a rally for mental health support on International Youth Day, August 12, 2016, at 9:00 am – #YWFightStigma. The rally will begin at the Five Altar Pieces on Spadina Crescent East, beside the University Bridge in Saskatoon, followed by a march and banner drop.

“Young people aged 15 to 24 years are more likely to experience mental illness than any other age group,” said Hailey Johnson, Co-Chair of YWC. “We need to acknowledge the fact that many young people experience mental health concerns, yet they do not have the support they need.”

Only one out of five young people who need mental health services actually receive the help they need in Canada. The results of this lack of support can be catastrophic: people with mental illness and addictions are more likely to die prematurely than the general population, and mental illness can reduce a person’s life expectancy by 10 to 20 years.

“A large problem is the level of stigma associated with mental health issues,” Janell Kachuik, Co-Chair of the Young Workers Committee, added. “This stigma creates further barriers to seeking help.”

“We’re taking a stand on International Youth Day in order to fight stigma and spread awareness, but to also make sure our governments don’t just talk the talk – we want to see real action around support for mental health,” Johnson added. “That means ensuring financial resources are allocated for the improvement and expansion of our mental health support both at work and within our communities.”

“All are welcome to attend the rally for mental health support. We expect to see community leaders join us in our public display of support for our younger generation as they struggle for improved mental health services and a better world for all.” said Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West.

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 Saskatchewan workers. Our members work in health care, hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities, schools, group homes, day cares, crisis services, municipalities, retirement homes and private businesses. Joined by one union – SEIU-West – and one colour – purple – SEIU-West members work in our communities. Visit PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the issues that matter to the members of SEIU-West and their communities.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

Media Release: Rally for Mental Health Support on International Youth Day

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