Depression can impact kids
and teenagers anywhere, not just in our own backyards – that’s why
Whistler’s Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation is sponsoring a free forum for
parents in Vancouver.
The Foundation has teamed up
with B.C. Mental Health and Addiction Services and the B.C. Children’s Hospital
to host “Depression … living and winning.” The event will feature a panel of
local and international experts on childhood and adolescent depression,
offering critical insights into the issues for parents.
They will offer information
on causes, signs and symptoms of depression in children and teens, the roles
family, friends, prescription drugs and counseling can play, and where parents
can turn for help to cope with this disease.
Scheduled speakers include
Dr. Jane Garland, a psychiatrist at the B.C. Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Allan
Young, psychiatrist and chair of depression research at the UBC Institute of Mental
There will also be a
discussion period held after formal presentations.
According to Dr. Garland,
depression is caused by many factors, including genetic predisposition; the
effects of loss, trauma and abuse; chronic stress; family problems; or medical
illness, and can have negative effects on children’s physical health, academic
achievement and social development.
While one in five teens
experiences at least one episode of depression by the end of their teenage
years, 25 to 50 per cent of cases go undiagnosed.
The Kelty Patrick Dennehy
Foundation was formed in 2001 by Whistler residents Ginny and Kerry Dennehy,
after their 17-year-old son, Kelty, took his own life following a battle with
“Although his family,
friends and doctors couldn’t save Kelty, we now have a mission through our
Foundation to save others suffering from depression,” Ginny Dennehy said in a
“The Kelty Patrick Dennehy
Foundation aims to help remove the stigma and ignorance associated with mental
disease through education, treatment and research.”
Since its inception, the
Foundation has raised a total of $2.44 million from their annual Drive FORE
Life golf events, the Kelty Circle, and other donations.
With those funds, they have
helped establish a new mental health building at the B.C. Children’s Hospital,
set up a Chair in Depression Research at UBC, supported the Kelty Resource
Centre at the B.C. Children’s Hospital, and launched a multi-year depression
research study with UBC.
They’ve also launched a
number of local initiatives within Whistler, which includes awareness campaigns
and screening for depression at local high schools.
The event will be held on
Thursday, Jan. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Chan Auditorium and Chieng
Atrium at the Child and Family Research Institute at the B.C. Children’s
Anyone interested in
attending should RSVP through the Foundations website,