What started as one family's journey has turned into a movement engaging
FREDERICTON, Dec. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - TodayDots NB, a non-profit organization focused on kids' mental health in New
Brunswick, is bringing together 23,000 students in grades 6, 7, and 8
in Anglophone and Francophone districts to ring bells at noon for one
minute to raise awareness of kids' mental health.An event at George Street Middle School in Fredericton will take place
at 11:30 a.m., where students, Bell Aliant and the Department of
Education and Early Childhood Development will ring bells to show their
support. Church bells across the province will also ring out at noon.
What started out as one family's personal story to find help for their
daughter's mental health challenges has turned into a provincial
movement for change. Maureen Bilerman co-founded Dots NB two years ago,
having experienced firsthand the need for improved treatment and
services when her teenage daughter Sarah developed a serious mental
Working with the Department of Education and Early Childhood
Development, Dots NB helped implement a mental health component into
the curriculum that was taught in all schools leading up to this event.
The curriculum focused on topics such as stigma, disorders, symptoms
and accessing help. The general public can access the online resource
provided to students and show their support by ringing a virtual bell
"Promoting positive mental health for our children is a priority for our
government," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister
Jody Carr. "We are proud to be a partner in presenting this campaign
and we look forward to continuing to work with all our stakeholders in
New Brunswick to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their
"By putting a spotlight on kids' mental health and by engaging the
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and community
partners such as Bell Aliant we are helping kids and parents understand
this issue and empowering them to be part of the movement toward better
treatments and services in New Brunswick," said Bilerman.
Mental health is a focus of Bell Aliant's community program. Since 2011,
Bell Aliant has given more than $1 million to support local programs
that reduce stigma and increase access to care, including a $10,000
contribution to Dots NB.
"Bell Aliant is proud to support a cause that affects one in five
Canadians," said Lisa Merrithew, Bell Aliant's Vice President,
Corporate Affairs. "We are pleased to partner with Dots NB to fuel this
unique youth-led movement and raise awareness of kids' mental health
issues with students, parents and teachers."
Staff and students at George Street Middle School have taken a
leadership role and formed a Dot Squad, committed to creating and
supporting opportunities for mental health awareness at their school
while encouraging other schools to do the same. Click here to view the classroom video.
About Dots NB
Dots NB is a New Brunswick not-for-profit organization committed to
excellence in kids' mental health through youth, family and community
About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional
communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an
entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP™ services. Through its operating entities, it serves customers in six
Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and
technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and
value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the
highest quality customer service, choice and convenience.
SOURCE: BELL ALIANT INC.