Why a Centre for
“The solution of adult problems tomorrow
depends in large measure
on the way our children grow up today. There
is no greater insight
into the future than recognizing when we save
we save ourselves."
Today in Canada, one out of every five children
shows signs of an emotional or
This is a frightening statistic. We see instances
every day of childhood depression, family breakdown,
failed schooling, illiteracy, juvenile delinquency,
use, and child abuse. We see long-term consequences that last well into adulthood,
such as violence, poor work histories, and future family breakdown.
problems and others like them represent a tremendous
burden of suffering in Canadian life, both now
and for the future. If we are unable to provide
a safe and nurturing environment for all of our children today, we will
undermine our society and competitiveness tomorrow.
our understanding of children’s emotional
and behavioural problems is limited. Most of
the research we need to understand them has simply
never been done. Research into children’s mental health problems
receives a disproportionately small amount of research funds, especially
social and financial impact. Perhaps this is because the true scope of
the problem has not yet been appreciated.
For more than a decade, a pioneering,
interdisciplinary group of researchers has been working to improve
our knowledge and understanding of children’s
mental health by shining a light on the factors that cause some children
to be at risk. Inspired by their belief that the right supports delivered
a child’s development can enrich the life quality and life chances
of even the most vulnerable children, they are doing some of the world’s
best and most innovative work in the field of early child development
mental health. They have created for Canada a new international centre
of excellence – the
Offord Centre for Child Studies.