If you've visited BC Children's recently might have noticed the new signage on the building already. What you might not know is that the new name was chosen through a competition. Because the way we speak about mental health is important, we wanted input from the people who know it best: our patients, their families and our health-care providers.
The competition launched on Mental Health Day in May 2017. Many creative suggestions were then posted in the entrance hall to the building so staff, patients and families were able to vote for their favourite. The top five suggestions were considered by a committee, and 'Healthy Minds Centre' was selected as the winner.
"We were delighted that the idea for the new building name came from a patient family who had previously used the Child and Youth Mental Health Services at BC Children's," says Sarah Bell, who oversees child and youth mental health programs at BC Children's.
"They were very happy with the care received but felt that for young patients and their families, our previous name, "Mental Health Building," could seem intimidating or clinical. The stigma still sometimes attached to having a mental health condition also meant it didn't sound like a place of healing. They compared this to positive language around healing and promoting a healthy body, and combined this concept of health promotion with mental health."
Reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues and promoting a healing environment is a key part of the mental health services at BC Children's. This new name reflects a positive vision for wellness, healing and emotional resilience among all children and adolescents in B.C.