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Social Media and Sexual Violence Conference: Understanding Links to Students’ Mental Health and Well-being

November 1, 2013 (London, Ont.) – The tr​agic deaths by suicide of young girls like Amanda Todd , Savy Turcotte,  and Rehtaeh Parsons have shown that sexual bullying has become a sad reality in our schools and is being carried into our homes through social media and the internet. A recent CAMH survey looking at the link between suicidal thoughts and bullying found that 21 per cent of girls in grades 7-12 in Ontario who were bullied by peers at school also contemplated suicide at some point that year.  The survey also found that 29 per cent of all students report being bullied at school, representing about 288,000 students in Ontario.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in partnership with Western University is presenting ‘Understanding the Links to Students’ Mental Health and Well-being,’ a conference addressing social media, bullying, sexual violence, and prevention strategies for parents and schools. 

The conference will be held on November 7- 8 at Western University’s Faculty of Education, 1137 Western Road  in London.. 

Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd and founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society is the special guest. 

Carol has spent the past year raising awareness of bullying and mental health following the tragic loss of her 15-year old daughter, Amanda, who endured years of cyber bullying.  Carol has travelled the world, courageously sharing Amanda’s story and urging parents to become social media-savvy with the hope of preventing similar tragedies. Her dedicated and impassioned campaigning has attracted local artists, schools, businesses and whole communities. Carol’s work has inspired many others to start their own initiatives across Canada. Her efforts have resulted in widespread awareness about online safety and how to seek help.

Presenters also include:

- Jackson Katz, Educator, Author, Social Critic

- Katie Cole and Melissa Gollan-Wills, Media Violence Specialists, Thames Valley District School Board

- Performance of the new interactive play on social media and sexual violence “Tuned Out”, written and directed by Toni Wilson, Learning Coordinator, Safe Schools, TVDSB

- Peter Jaffe and  Alan Leschied, Faculty of Education, Western University

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For more information or full itinerary please contact Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416.595.6015 or media@camh.ca

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, and one of the world's leading research centres in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. 

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. ​​

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