Transitions was launched nationally on September 27, 2013 at University Hall in Dalhousie University. With a full audience from community organizations, universities, government departments, partners, supporters & endorsers as well as the media, Transitions made its way into the hands of care providers, staff, faculty and students this fall across partner universities in Nova Scotia.
A panel of guests including Dr. Bonnie Neuman, Vice President of Student Services at Dalhousie University; The Honourable Jane Cordy, Senator, Nova Scotia; Louise Bradley, President & CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada; Deputy Minister Carole Olsen of the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development and Dr. David Pilon, Program Leader at Capital District Health Authority Addictions & Mental Health Program came to speak and provide their endorsement and support for the launch of Transitions. The Kids Help Phone & The Jack Project, along with the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, CMHA and others both endorsed and supported the launch of Transitions both at the event as well as through their communication mediums.
Dr. Kutcher welcomed the audience and opened with a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zadvSoBfuSc&feature=share&list=UUEGJXgizngaiaEyl1uuOUtA) to explain Transitions as seen from the eyes of the youth that will be transitioning their way into their first year of university. Ms. Bradley noted the format versatility of Transitions as an App an eBook, in print and online will ensure it is in the hands of everyone that needs it and she believed, "Transitions will spread like wildfire". Dr. Neuman spoke to the impact of Transitions at the University and noted "Students come to us teenagers, but what walks across the stage at convocation, 4 or 5 years later is an adult. And that transition is one of the most powerful transitions in any individuals life. And what we have here today and are celebrating is the launch of a resource, that is going to make a difference for many people in terms of making that transition (the 4 or 5 years) an extrordinarily successful one." Dr. Pilon spoke to his teens making the transition and how Transitions will provide for the information on Housing. Finances, Sexuality as well as Mental Health information that is key to the success of any young person that may not be as comfortable seeking the assistance they need. Senator Cordy, talked about how Transitions will lead to peer support & sharing that will provide youth the information they need to support one another. Deputy Minister Olsen talked about how Transitions filled a gap for young people and how it would now facilitate self-help, but also provide for information on supporting their peers, their families & their communities.
In addition to the various highlights of the event, The Stay Connected Project, generously supported by The Fountains, invested in the purchase of 3000 copies of Transitions to be distributed across the partner universities & colleges (Dalhousie University, St. Marys University, Kings College, Mount Saint Vincent University & Nova Scotia Community College). The free App was also made available to 6000 incoming first year students, along with the eBook at a nominal cost of $0.99 for all students, staff, faculty & families.
As requests for Transitions are now coming in from across Canada, its roll out within the various provinces is now being planned. Transitions is available at http://www.teenmentalhealth.org/transitions in all the various platforms and further queries on the same can be sent to Faten.Alshazly@iwk.nshealth.ca.
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