Bradford Kids and Adults have seen a massive increase in Mental Health concerns, back to school this year is adding to it for some. 2.5 Years with pandemic information bombardment, confusion and flip-flopping view points, non-stop media coverage and social media posts and opinions was detrimental to everyones mental health. Let's talk locally.
Our kids have been home schooled, isolated and missed out on some of life's great milestones for over 2.5 years. As we battle the challenges that have crept into many of our children - we now face more disruptions due to changing of school boundaries, more stress on families to provide transportation and logistical solutions. Our schools are over populated and it appears that we are lacking short term and long term effective solutions that are not just shuffling numbers - but doing what right and best for our children. As parents, grandparents and other members of Bradford - we have all had to burden the mental health challenges, some more than others and some greater than others.
As a natural leader and if elected as your town councillor, mental health and heath MUST be an immediate priority and not a talking point to get another check mark on a list of hot topics.
Like many of you - I'm a high functioning, over achieving person with occasional anxiety issues that have been managed for years. The pandemic and post pandemic has in most cases heightened stress, anxiety and other challenging in many families here in Ward 4 and in Bradford.
Bullying in our schools and public spaces is never ok. Before I moved to Bradford years and years ago - I was a strong advocate for anti-bullying in schools and fought to have better accountability for the children. But it's not just kids that face this. Adults online, at work and around town can feel this too. I can tell you that as soon as people thought I was going to run for a council position - I have been bullied and have false rumours spread as people see change as a threat. We all face these negative experiences occasionally and we need the support of our community, family and friends to lift us up and reassure! I'm not perfect either, but let's ensure we don't add to anyones mental heath concerns.
OUR HEALTH: WHERE WE LIVE™, must include mental health resources and programs on top of expanding satellite hospital and other resources for general health. The reduction of stigmatism of metal health has come a long way - but post pandemic data indicated that adults and especially our kids will have a significant increases of challenges that I believe we must improve on in this town moving forward such as:
Bullying needs to stop. Our schools are public spaces should have a zero tolerance for this behaviour - and to be honest we as adults experience it on-line, around town and at work.
When making decision on schools - we already are over populated and need more strategic planing and execution of: • Building schools Where people live • Keeping friends together (Grandfathering in changes) • More effective busing and logistical planning - no more kids showing up 20-40 min late due to bus schedules. • Working with the community wants and needs
We need more resources for assessing kids mental health and have programs available locally - so it doesn't require long commutes to other cities or people choosing to ignore as its too difficult to get resources locally
Our seniors need more social space. We have several retirement and assisted living homes that have no parks, community gather spaces and they rely on WalMart to get their safe space to socialize. We must take care of our elders as they paid their dues and its our turn to take care of them.
We need more think for our teens to do here in Bradford. It's simple - we need to build better commercial spaces to attract businesses to be able to thrive and support our kids and young adults with attractive entertainment options and keep them close to home and working close to where we live. It better for us to keep them close and busy!
I have many ideas on how we can me more effective here in Bradford, and ensure our children and ourselves are feeling our best. But as always - your ideas, feedback and support is what a councillor should be supporting. So let me know how I can add to this platform.
Resources you should check out: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19/helpful-practices-to-promote-mental-health