Physical activity plays an important role in developing the brain and supporting essential mental functions. In Manitoba, more than 1,400 kids and teens need an urgent mental health assessment annually. In the year 2000, that number was just 300. About 600 of these youth are admitted to the Child & Adolescent Mental Health inpatient unit annually for acute mental health issues, like depression, severe anxiety, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.
Donors have helped provide safe play spaces for children and adolescents in Manitoba’s only acute inpatient unit for mental health. These spaces — including areas for team sports, independent workouts and relaxation — will give kids a place to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and simply smell the fresh air. Inside the unit, redeveloped play spaces with workout equipment and machines, and space for activities like yoga, will provide welcome distraction and activity. Thanks to donors, the outdoor space is fully funded and opened in summer 2022. Plans for indoor play space were paused during the pandemic, as COVID transmission and infection prevention and control have implications on space, design and type of activity. Based on what is now understood, an indoor exercise space will include considerations for ventilation, cleaning and distance. With your help, these environments will help kids and youth reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, and learn coping tools for future.
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