Bells ring out across New Brunswick in support of kids' mental health on Dots
for Kids Day
What started as one family's journey has turned into a movement engaging
FREDERICTON, Dec. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Today Dots 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 illness.
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 at www.dotsnb.ca.
"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 full potential."
"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
"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
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 empowerment.
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
For more information, please contact:
Maureen Bilerman Executive Director, Dots NB (506) 206-1660
Meg Cumby Communications, Department of Education and Early Childhood
Development (506) 444-2455 firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabelle Robinson Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs (506) 457-5554
SOURCE: BELL ALIANT INC.
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ST: New Brunswick
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