A prominent Canadian hospital and kids’ group have said an “emergency response” is needed from the premiers of provinces to deal with the rapid decline of kids' mental health, which the organizations say has taken a drastic turn for the worse due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We’re calling for an urgent meeting of Canada’s First Ministers to take immediate action to address this crisis facing the 8 million kids in our country,” reads a press release published last week by the Children First Canada group .
“Across Canada, COVID-19 has led to devastating effects on the mental and physical health of kids. School closures, the lack of access to sports and recreational programs, and social isolation have led to devasting effects on the health and well-being of kids. The urgency to support children and youth has never been greater. Children First Canada and its partners are declaring #codePINK – a term used for pediatric emergencies.”
Sara Austin, founder and CEO of Children First Canada, said that the “Code Pink” declaration is needed due to the daily escalating crisis in the physical and mental health of children.
“We’re declaring a #codePINK because kids are in a state of crisis and we are calling for an emergency response. Their physical and mental health needs are escalating daily, and the impacts will be felt for years to come,” says Austin.
In its press release, Children First Canada says that Canada’s premiers must safely reopen “schools, camps, parks and other recreational facilities as quickly as possible.”
The group also called for a reduction in “backlogs for surgeries and rehabilitation,” and for investing in “new models of mental health programs to meet the urgent and rising demands, and planning now for a safe return to school in the fall.”
Children First Canada bills itself as a national charitable organization which is “committed to improving the health and well-being of young people across the country.”
The group sent out its “#codePINK” news release with statistics from prominent Canadian groups about the harm lockdowns have caused kids.
Children First Canada said that according to Children’s Healthcare Canada, there has been a 100 percent increase in youth suicide attempts, while McMaster Children’s Hospital reported a staggering 200 percent increase.
A stat from the Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations shows that a total of 70 percent of kids have said that the COVID-19 shutdowns have caused harm to their mental health.
Children First Canada says that, according to statistics from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, there has been a 61 percent increase in ER visits among kids who are seeking help for their mental health.
Also reported by Children First Canada was an alarming statistic compiled by BC Children’s Hospital which showed that since September 2020 child abuse rates have risen 100 percent in instances with “infants presenting with fractures and head trauma.”
Recently, Ontario ER Dr. Patrick Phillips told LifeSiteNews that kids “need their lives back” and that he witnesses the harms caused by extended lockdowns every day.
“All these kids, they don’t need antidepressants, they don’t need counseling, they just need their lives back, they need their friends, they need to play, school, they need hope for the future, and that’s what our government is taking away right now, and that’s why we need to openly debate these things,” said Phillip.
On May 20, Children First Canada posted an open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, the province’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams, and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, demanding that schools “re‐open immediately.”
“The benefits of a few weeks in classroom cannot be overstated. Our front‐line educators are in a position to recognize signs of abuse and to support children struggling with mental health issues,” the letter reads.