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2011 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

University of Toronto joins forces with the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance to rally support behind youth mental health

Hundreds of students to form ‘human ribbon’ to raise awareness during Mental Illness Awareness Week
For Immediate Release – October 3, 2011 – (Toronto) – To recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week and draw attention to the need for crucial mental health services in Ontario, the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance has partnered with the University of Toronto to encourage young people to advocate for better access to mental health services by using their vote in the upcoming election.
Current provincial statistics show that three out of four young people with a mental health problem do not get the help they need, and that at any given time children and youth may have to wait up to 100 days for a mental health assessment.
“Young people transitioning to post-secondary studies are particularly at risk. Yet services for this population on campuses and in the community are lacking,” said Mary Alberti of the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance. “This is why we hope that Ontario students continue to champion this cause, starting with the upcoming election.”
Students from other Toronto colleges and universities, such as Ryerson University, York University and the Ontario College of Art and Design have also been invited to attend. Post-secondary administrators have deemed mental health a crucial issue on college and university campuses.
“Mental health is a key dimension of college and university life, affecting learning and academic success. We must all stand up and take notice of this issue,” said Janine Robb, Executive Director of Health and Wellness, Student Life, University of Toronto. “This event kicks off a month long series of events to raise awareness about mental health on our campus.”
Date: October 4, 2011
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Kings College Circle, University of Toronto, Main Campus
Speakers available for interview:
Janine Robb, Executive Director of Health and Wellness, Student Life, University of Toronto
Mary Alberti, Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance
Marie Asuncion, University of Toronto Alumna will share her personal story of mental illness
Photo op: Students holding lime green cardboard squares above their heads will stand to form the shape of a ribbon spanning the length of Kings College Circle field. Arial photos of the ‘human ribbon’ will be made available to media after the event.
Media contact: Michael Torres, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Media Relations; 416 595 6015; media@camh.net
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About the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance (www.vote4mha.ca): The Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance is a broadly based coalition of provincial organizations from across the continuum of care – from community to hospital services and consumer and family organizations.
Dedicated to student success and development, the division of Student Life Programs & Services on the St. George Campus provides the supports, opportunities and resources students need to reach their full potential. The division consists of 11 distinct units dedicated to supporting a variety of personal and learning needs as well as a central team of program, communications, and information technology professionals who pull it all together. http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca 

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.  
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