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The Sheridan Sun, Thursday, April 9, 2009: Page 5

Mental health issues common among students Terri-Ann Thomas Health

One in five Ontario youth struggle with mental health issues. Students aged 15-24 experience the highest incidence of mental disorders of anyone as reported by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The growing number of students facing mental health disorders will erode academic performance in school and lead to a higher drop out rate, the CMHA warns. Mental health disorders not only affect school performance, they are one of the biggest reasons why students commit suicide. “Suicide is among the leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds in Canada,” said Delrish. “This number will continue to grow if we do not help our young adults.” Students at Sheridan suffer from anxiety issues more than

Terri-Ann Thomas Students at Sheridan suffer from anxiety issues more than any other issue. any other. “Students come for counselling because they are not doing well in their courses, they my have relationship, parent, or financial problems,” said Eleanor TeglerGibson, a Sheridan counsellor. Gibson said the biggest issue for Sheridan students is relation-

ship problems. There are other students at Sheridan who suffer from more severe mental disorders. “We have some students with schizophrenia,” said Gibson. “They are well controlled and coping.” The CMHA works hard in

helping to prevent detrimental outcomes of mental disorders. “We provide public education materials, develop policy, conduct research studies and demonstration projects,” said Delrish. In 2004, the CMHA released the program, Your EducationYour Future, geared towards college and university students facing mental disorders. The program includes firsthand advice from other students who face mental disorders. “Students’ futures will be uncertain if they don’t get the understanding and support they need from their schools and their peers,” said Delrish. The main concerns of the CMHA are young children and young adults. Their statistics show that only 20 per cent of young people who need help with mental disorders get it. The CMHA is gearing up for its annual Mental Health Week from May 4 through May 10.

Ontario’s early childhood education in crisis, but there is hope James Rubec Education

With demand for childcare going up, but government funding going down, early childhood education in Ontario is facing a potential crisis. Ontario will lose federal funding for childcare subsidies in 2010, to the tune of $68.5 million. The provincial government’s recent budget has provided nothing to make up for the loss. But as the subsidies dry up, more households need a second income and childcare has become more of a necessity. “We’ve seen a spike in attendance, so we need more staff and we are expanding,” said Diana Burton a supervisor at Little House Children Learning Centrein Oakville. “We currently have one location with 34 staff, [and] we have a second with seven employees but we are expanding rapidly we need more ECEs.” While private investment increases, public funding is scaling down. “In 2010, federal funding for childcare subsidies is going to end. This will leave 22,000 kids without childcare spots Families and the industry

lose out,” said Andrea Calver of the Coalition for Better Childcare. “Without these subsidies many families will not be able to have proper childcare for their children, meaning they may not be able to go to work.” Calver says it would cost $68.5 million, or $10,000 to $15,000 a child to maintain the province’s subsidies. The last provincial budget left childcare unmentioned A McGuinty spokesman said the provincial government will continue to lobby the Harper government for funds for childcare. In Oakville alone, there are more than 80 childcare businesses. This consists of personal in home day cares and larger operations like childcare facilities such as Peekaboo with 18 locations and more than 250 staff. Meanwhile, they have a wait list for entry and need more staff. With the expansion of childcare businesses, the need for childcare staff grows accordingly. Last week, Sheridan College held an ECE job fair. The event brought 20 local businesses out to recruit potential employees from Sheridan’s ECE program. In Ontario alone there are 28 fully accredited ECE training programs.

James Rubec Monica Diefke and Diana Burton at Sheridan College’s ECE job fair, held last week in the Trafalgar Campus SCAET building, are optimistic despite the troubles facing Ontario’s childcare sector.

Students at risk in workplace, expert says Stefanie Wallace Health

In a frantic search for employment, students will often take whatever they can get to earn some cash. But money isn’t the only thing that’s on the line. Last year, 47,000 young workers reported workplace injuries in Ontario, about the same number of people that filled the Rogers Centre at the Blue Jays’ home opener. Rob Ellis, who founded Our Youth At Work after his son was killed on the job, said students need the confidence to ask questions. “Find out where the chemicals are stored. Make sure you’re wearing the right safety gear,” Ellis said. “Don’t shy away from reporting accidents, even minor ones.” On his second day of work at an Oakville bakery in 1999, David Ellis was cleaning an industrial mixer when the piece of machinery accidentally became activated and the rotating blades drew him into the mixer. He struck his head and succumbed to his injuries days later. Ellis started Our Youth At Work to educate young workers on safety in the workplace. According to Ellis, for every adult that is injured in the workplace, six young people are injured. Sunil Wadhwani of the occupational health and safety services at Sheridan says an important part of starting a new job is orientation. “At Sheridan, we offer orientation and training every year, including first aid and WHMIS training. This should happen at all jobs before you start on the first day,” Wadhwani said. Ellis agrees. “Companies invest in orientation and training programs. When students don’t get this time and money spent on them in the very beginning, and they don’t get proper training, they are more likely to feel uncomfortable. They are told that burns and cuts are part of the job, but they really aren’t.” David’s death could have been prevented, and Ellis spreads his story to youth across North America. “Since losing David we have tried to educate the next generation of future leaders,” Ellis said. “For the most part, students have lived in a generation where you’re told to write a resume and that’s the end of your time to speak.” For more safety tips and resources, go to www.mysafework.com or call Sheridan’s occupational health and safety services at ext. 2357.

YMCA’s Strong Kids fundraiser brings attention to child poverty and fitness Jill Kwasniak

Community News

More than 250 people signed up for the Burlington YMCA’s third annual Strong Kids fundraiser, which took place last Friday. The event featured competitions in spin cycling, swimming and gymnastics. The money raised went toward helping lowincome families put their children into recreational sports. “We have three competitions including a Spin-a-thon, Gym-a-thon and a Splash-athon. It’s very much more a family focus and has been for the last couple of years,” said Marc Clare, manager of membership sales and service of the YMCA.

Last year, the YMCA raised $11,000 in event fundraisers for underprivileged children and a total of $82,000 from donations and events. Clare hopes to come close this year with a at least $80,000 raised. “We have over 250 people signed up so far and this is just the beginning of a night full of fun,” he said. Dozens of volunteers lined up to encourage kids to participate, including Oakville resident Katelyn Gorski. “I can’t think of a good enough reason why I shouldn’t help these kids,” GorJill Kwasniak ski said. “They deserve to be able Cathy Climie leads the spin-a-thon competition at the Ron Edwards Family YMCA to throw the basketball through in Burlington for the Strong Kids fundraiser, raising money for disadvantaged kids the hoop.” to partake in sports programs.

Jill Kwasniak YMCA Donations were accepted for a chance to win a mountain bike or family pass to Great Wolf Lodge.


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