While more than a million children and youth experience mental health problems that impair their functioning and causes stress for their family, this is still a largely misunderstood and underfunded issue in Canada. Teachers, social workers and other professionals who work with children have seen many examples of young people who are "out of control" and engaging in risky or destructive behaviour. They also see children who have suffered from the effects of poverty, abuse, neglect or other forms of trauma and who either act out or become withdrawn as a way to cope. In many cases, none of these risk factors are evident but a child or youth still experiences difficulty in school, bullying, trouble making friends, substance abuse and frequent conflicts with parents, teachers and police. Some young people may try or talk about suicide.
The Kinark Foundation addresses the challenges facing children and youth with mental health problems and their families by providing support to organizations offering real solutions. We give interested and compassionate individuals, businesses and community groups an opportunity to make an investment in initiatives that will have a positive impact in the lives of children and youth here at home, today and over the long-term. We pledge to seek out the strongest organizations that offer proven solutions and innovative practices that provide hope and help to children, youth and families.