Healthier Canadian Children
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Healthier Canadian Children

Serving the federal government as Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth. Providing recommendations in three main areas: the efficacy of existing federal government programs; recommendations for new strategic directions; an opinion regarding the establishment of an office that would advise the federal government on the health of children and youth. Canada’s tremendous opportunity to be a world leader in this area but with a significant amount of work to do. What good public policy is and isn’t. Commending the federal government for its foresight in asking the speaker to do make these recommendations. The speaker’s day job. The speaker’s report “Reaching for the Top.” More than just recommendations. The work behind the report –how the speaker learned what was happening and what needed to be done. What is happening in other countries such as India, China, others in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. The perspective Canada needs to take. Three key issues and opportunities identified in the report: injury prevention; childhood obesity; the improvement of mental health services for Canadian children and youth. Some sobering statistics. An illustrative anecdote about printable injuries. The recommendation to establish and National Child and Youth Injury Prevention Strategy. Other tangible, concrete things to focus on to reduce preventable injuries. Statistics on childhood obesity. Causes, the bottom line, some fixes. The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. Actions and encouragements. Children’s mental health not getting the attention it deserves. Too many problematic gaps. Some of the challenges. Too many children getting lost in the system. Some good news. Part of the solution. The establishment of a paediatric mental-health wait-times strategy. What a National Mental Health Strategy needs to focus on. Excitement about what the future holds. Taking action on these issues. What is required. A succinct list. A call for action and help.