What We Do...

Good stories hold the power to change how we think and how we feel.    (Haven, 2007; Heath & Heath, 2008) 
The Impact of Mental Health on Children 

  • 10 to 20% of youth worldwide suffer from a mental illness that affects their daily functioning​ (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013; WHO, 2016).

  • About half of the mental illnesses have an onset before the age of 14 (WHO, n.d.).

  • Children with the greatest risk for mental illness are least likely to seek and receive mental health services (CDC, 2012).

  • The city of London is facing some of the worst waiting periods in Ontario for mental health services (Children’s Mental Health Ontario, n.d.).

  • While the waiting list for counselling, psychotherapy and intensive treatment has decreased from a wait of two years to eight months, the demand for children and youth mental health services is nevertheless increasing by 10% every year in London and across Ontario (Children’s Mental Health Ontario, n.d.).

  • Early prevention and intervention are crucial. If we invest in children and youth mental health care – specifically prevention and early intervention - it not only costs less in the long run, but research has shown that children and youth are also less affected throughout their life (Lurie, 2014).

  • Although Ontario’s overall investment in health care per capita is $1,361, only $16.45 is invested for mental health care (Lurie, 2014).

  • Bibliotherapy is an affordable and easy way for children and adolescents to gain knowledge about mental health (Mumbauer, 2017).

The Power of Bibliotherapy ​
  • Bibliotherapy is effective in addressing a wide range of emotions and behaviours (Montgomery & Maunders, 2015).

  • "[It] can serve as a preventative and responsive treatment for increasing mental health literacy" (Mumbauer, 2017).

  • Children’s books can be used to address difficult topics, like mental health, and help children understand these issues in a non-threatening and engaging way (Lucas & Soares, 2013).

  • Through reading fictional stories, children can better understand feelings related to themselves and others.

  • Books can also be an instrument for reflection, interpretation and conversation (Lucas & Soares, 2013).

  • They can help guide children’s thinking, behaviour, and problem-solving skills (Lucas & Soares, 2013).

  • When children read a story and they empathize with characters in the story, they gain insight into the problems they also may be facing (Lucas & Soares, 2013).

Our Plans

 

We plan to implement bibliotherapy strategies through various activities.

One of our main activities is Weekly Storytime where each week we read a new story that focuses on or is related to an aspect of mental health. Parents, caregivers and children can participate in Weekly Storytime by listening to and discussing the stories. Children and caregivers can also send in their own submissions of them reading books. We hope that this can help children and their caregivers recognize and address their own mental health concerns.

 

In addition, we have a Gofundme page to fundraise for books that we will donate to our local children's mental health agencies.

© 2020 by Reading to Flourish

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