Today, superheroes of all ages took over Port Arthur Stadium during the U-18 Baseball World Cup Japan vs. Netherlands game.

The Children’s Centre Foundation hosted Heroes for Healthy Minds Day—a day dedicated to promoting conversation and empowerment for children’s mental health. Attendees were invited to dress up as their very own superheroes, to symbolize that as a community every person can be a champion for children’s mental health. Children’s Centre Foundation volunteers were onsite hosting several family activities including baseball games, face painting, and creating superhero masks for attendees.As many as one in five children and youth in Ontario will experience some sort of mental health problem, and five out of six of those children won’t receive the treatment they need. The Children’s Centre Foundation Thunder Bay works closely with the Children’s Centre to involve the community in dialogue about children’s mental wellness, and to increase transparency around children and youth’s mental health issues. The foundation also supports treatment services provided by the Centre including social work, psychology, early childhood education, speech and language and much more.“Becoming a superhero for the day allows children to reduce fears and anxiety, try out different personas and to experiment about the type of person they want to be. The event also focuses on fostering important conversation about children’s mental health at all ages,” says Alana Bencharski foundation coordinator of the Children’s Centre Foundation.

The prevalence of mental health issues in children is uncommon knowledge, but 17% of children as young as two to five years old may experience mental health issues. The Children’s Centre Foundation together with the Children’s Centre work tirelessly to combat these statistics by promoting open conversation, strong support and community involvement.“In the world of superheroes anything is possible. Helping the children and families to become aware of, and helping them feel comfortable speaking about, mental health is vital. Heroes for Healthy Minds Day has been a great success, where every child is a superhero for mental health,” says Bencharski. “We all have the power to create a happy and healthy community.”