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Hundreds of Ottawa students step up to fight mental health stigma
Youth Net presents HeadStrong Summit
May 7, 2015, Ottawa – CHEO’s Youth Net/Réseau Ado is tackling stigma surrounding mental illness head-on with their youth anti-stigma summit, HeadStrong. Tomorrow, May 8, over 150 high school students and staff will gather at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre to learn and collaborate on effective ways to reduce stigma around mental health.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) awarded funding to Youth Net to host the anti-stigma summit as part of the Canada-wide HeadStrong initiative. Before the end of this school year, nearly two dozen regional anti-stigma summits will have taken place across Canada.
Youth Net is the for-youth, by-youth mental health promotion, intervention, and support organization at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The day-long summit aims to build connections among community, schools and youth to reduce negative attitudes to mental illness. The summit will act as a launching pad to help participants develop and implement mental health advocacy groups within their own schools.
“We are thrilled to bring this anti-stigma initiative to the Ottawa community. This summit presents a unique opportunity for us to reach such a large group of students and educational professionals – the potential for positive impact is high,” says Zsofia Cook, Anti-Stigma Promotion Coordinator at Youth Net. “With Mental Health Week from May 4 to 10, there is no better time to get people talking about mental health.”
Youth Net/Réseau Ado Ottawa is a bilingual regional mental health promotion and intervention program run by youth, for youth. For more information, go to, or contact Taylor Linseman at
About CHEO
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is Canada’s capital pediatric hospital and helps over 500,000 children and youth each year. CHEO has more than 2,500 doctors, nurses and staff dedicated to providing the best possible care for the children and youth of Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario.
CHEO works closely with the University of Ottawa as a teaching hospital and fosters groundbreaking research through the CHEO Research Institute. CHEO’s vision is to change young lives in our community, while our innovation changes young lives around the world.

For further information, please contact:

Eva Schacherl
Communications Manager and Strategist
613-737-7600 x 3536
Cell: 613-769-5553
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