Event aims to make 150 count for children's mental health


Kate Jackman - Atkinson

The Neepawa Banner

Children’s mental health is an important issue for NACI Grade 12 student Kassia Hollier. A peer helper since she came to the school in Grade 10, she’s seen first hand the challenges that many students face as they navigate growing up in today’s world. Next Wednesday, she’s hosting a free family movie night to help let both parents and children know about some of the supports available.


The movie night is being funded by an RBC Make 150 Count grant Hollier received. Through this initiative, RBC is giving $150 to young Canadians across the country and asking them to use it to make a positive impact in their communities.  Hollier has also been a member of HOPE, NACI’s social justice group, since Grade 10 and early this year, representatives from the local RBC branch came to speak to HOPE members about Make 150 Count. Hollier was one of the students who submitted an application outlining how they would spend the money. In March, she found out that she had won a $150 grant based on her idea to host a movie night in support of children’s mental health. “I wanted to really make an impact,” said Hollier.The movie night will be Wednesday, May 24 and while she initially wanted to hold an outdoor event, given the uncertain weather and the late sunsets, she decided to host it at the NACI gym. The movie will get underway at 6:30 p.m., meaning that it won’t be too late an evening for families.Hollier will be showing the animated feature, Inside Out.

The movie follows Riley, an 11 year old girl from the American Midwest whose world is turned upside down when her family moves to San Francisco.  Riley’s emotions, including Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, guide her through this life changing event. The movie certainly has an education component, as writer-director Pete Docter consulted with renowned psychologist Paul Ekman, known for his pioneering research on emotions, and Dacher Keltner, co-director of the Greater Good Science Center and psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, when writing the script. Hollier is planning to have information about how the movie connects to children’s mental health and supports available locally.

The movie night ties strongly with Hollier’s work in the peer helper program, which trains about 20 students to talk to other students who might be facing challenges and don’t feel comfortable talking to an adult.  Hollier said that they might meet with the students in person or talk with them through text message. As a peer helper, they also see the results of surveys completed by students. “Mental health is a huge issue… Children don’t get help,” said Hollier of the survey results.  She adds that there are a lot of supports available, but many kids, and their families, don’t know they exist. “It’s really important to identify what people need, especially as a kid… If someone doesn’t know how to ask for help, they won’t find it,” said Hollier.

Showtime will be at 6:30 pm, on May 24.  The movie is free and popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase. While the movie night is to provide information about children’s mental health, Hollier said she hopes to use any money raised at the event to support area children with mental disabilities.  She explained that she is hoping to be able to contribute to the purchase of some equipment that can be used by students at HMK who have mental or physical disabilities.