OCYI Story: Let's Talk 2024

OCYI’s Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health-Education & Awareness (IECMH-EA) Task Group brings together early years service providers from across Ottawa to increase awareness of infant and early childhood mental health and offer strategies for fostering mental health in early childhood. 


Driven by research that demonstrates the importance of optimal early mental health and the lifelong impacts of the early years, this group works together to make a greater impact and build a stronger system of care for infant and early childhood mental health in the greater Ottawa community. 


For the past few years, this has included taking the opportunity to reach a wider audience through Bell Let’s Talk Day. The group wants to make sure early mental health is part of the conversation during this wider mental health conversation. Sharing local resources, tips, and compassionate messages, the IECMH-EA Task Group aims to use their collective expertise to support families and care providers by directing them to quality content and helpful information. 


This year, the group created a series of social media messages in alignment with Bell Let’s Talk Day’s 2024 theme of taking action to create real change for those living with mental health issues. OCYI and task group members will be sharing them throughout the day on January 24th and looks forward to engagement with our partners. We welcome you to follow along, share, or post these messages through your own networks. Tag us @OCYI_Ottawa on Twitter and Instagram or email info@growingupgreat.ca to obtain images to go with your posts.


Our 2024 Messages: 

  1. Little ones can struggle with their mental health too! It just might look a little different. If sensory issues and delayed skills development are causing concern, please reach out for resources at iecmh.ca #BellLetsTalk  
  2. OCYI’s IECMH Task Group is aware that searching for reliable information to support the mental health of babies and children can be a challenge. We want to change this! iecmh.ca #BellLetsTalk
  3. More cuddles in 2024! Babies and toddlers have both physical and emotional needs! Picking them up and snuggling them close creates lasting connections. If this feels hard, please reach out for resources at iecmh.ca #BellLetsTalk     
  4. Let’s take action in 2024 by being honest! Taking care of babies and small children can be exhausting! OCYI’s IECMH Task Group knows that your mental health is key to being able to care for others. Resources at iecmh.ca #BellLetsTalk
  5. Just in! The top toy for babies and small children in 2024 is you! Playing, singing, and being present are wonderful ways to care for your child’s mental health. Trust yourself and reach out if you need support. iecmh.ca #BellLetsTalk  

To learn more about the IECMH-EA Task Group’s work as well as to find resources for early years service providers, check out www.iecmh.ca.



This story is part of the January 2024 Ovation. This story is also available in French.