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Shining a spotlight on mental health

Mental and behavioral health are not always talked about openly, but millions of children in the U.S. and Canada need someone to start speaking up: In the U.S., half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14. In Canada, 70 percent of mental health problems begin during childhood or adolescence. While it is estimated that 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness, fewer than 20 percent will receive the proper treatment.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Thirty-One is proud to recognize the research being done with our support at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the U.S., as well as through our new partnership with Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations. Thirty-One Gifts Consultants are spreading the word about ways you can help destigmatize mental health issues and help fund groundbreaking research benefiting youth across the U.S. and Canada.

Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations

CCHF represents children's hospitals throughout Canada, and Thirty-One Gives is its first national partner to focus on funding mental health issues. Our support will help fund research, care and learning in 11 children's hospitals across the country, says Christina Deveau, CCHF marketing and communication specialist.

For example, a program at Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary is helping to make sure that front-line pediatricians and family doctors have the necessary training to assist their young patients with mental health challenges.

“Thanks to partners like Thirty-One Gives who are shining light on and providing support to mental health services through CCHF, we can help ensure Canada’s women, girls and families live healthy lives,” Deveau says.

Learn more: Read Charlotte’s story to hear about one girl’s experience and the impact of CCHF’s important work.

Nationwide Children's Hospital

We’re also proud to partner with America’s largest children’s hospital.

At Nationwide Children's Hospital, Dr. Nancy Cunningham says that funding from Thirty-One Gives is supporting two research projects. One has a focus of enhancing girls' eHealth literacy, helping them to improve how they find and evaluate health information. The second uses neuroimaging to identify girls who could be at risk for anxiety, depression, drug use and behavioral challenges.

Thirty-One Gifts Consultants are making a difference, Cunningham says.

“Taking time in your home parties and customer interactions to talk about our work together to promote the mental health and wellness in girls everywhere is invaluable,” she says of our dedicated Consultants. “You extend the work of researchers and treatment professionals by spreading the word.”

The Thirty-One Gifts network of Consultants, Customers and leadership who champion these issues is “remarkable,” Cunningham says.

“Together we can discover new knowledge and strategies to support girls and young women, and together spread the word through our unique relationships and areas of influence,” she says.

Learn more: Read Sarah’s story to hear from one of the many young people helped by this type of research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Raising funds, raising awareness

You can do so much to support the Gives mission in May!

  • Through the Gives Round Up! initiative, Customers in the U.S. and Canada have the option to support the important mental health research being done by our partners by rounding up their purchase (after tax and shipping) to the nearest dollar, or any amount. This May, funds raised in the U.S. will go to Nationwide Children's Hospital, and those raised in Canada will be distributed by CCHF.
  • You also can host a party to share more about Mental Health Awareness Month. The cause is represented by the colour green, so incorporate it into your party! Serve green food or drinks. Enter every Customer who wears green into a drawing. Then discuss Thirty-One Gives’ partnerships during the party and share how they are making a difference in your community.
  • Another way to spread the word and reduce the stigma of mental health issues is as close as your smartphone or laptop. Use the #StartTheConvo and #31Gives hashtags on social media to discuss mental and behavioral health issues, and to invite others to join the conversation.