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Code PINK: Declaring a National Pediatric Emergency

July 16, 2021

Children First Canada and its partners declared #codePINK in May 2021, urging Canada’s First Ministers to take immediate action to address the mental health crisis affecting children in Canada. Code Pink is the medical term used to indicate a pediatric emergency. 

The requested call for action includes immediately planning the safe reopening of camps, parks, and other recreational facilities as quickly as possible, and planning now for a safe return to school in the Fall. There is also a push for government leaders to scale up virtual care programs, reduce backlogs for surgeries and rehabilitation, and invest in new models of mental health programs to meet the urgent and rising demands. The #codePINK movement has received extensive national and international attention: 

  • 1,467,980 Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram impressions 
  • 646 media articles
  • 74,366,269 unique views

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many deleterious impacts on children and youth. A recent poll commissioned by Inspiring Healthy Futures has found that:

  • 61% of parents expect effects of the pandemic to continue to impact their children’s mental health, even after the pandemic ends.
  • 54% of parents plan to access more professional mental health services for their children.
  • 62% of parents say the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health challenges of at least one of their children. 
  • 33% say they have not received any support for their children from the government throughout the pandemic. 42% of parents say they received some, but it hasn’t been enough.  

No action has been taken thus far to support the future generation. Children First Canada is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Premiers to call off #codePINK by taking urgent action to ensure children receive immediate and sustained support for their mental and physical health.

To support the #codePINK movement and advocate for governmental responsibility for the health and safety of Canadian children, join the cause through social media. Draw a pink emergency cross on the palm of your hand, take a selfie while holding your hand up to the camera, and share this on social media, explaining why you are declaring #codePINK.

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