Did you know that Mother’s Day as we know it in the West has its roots in activism? 

Social justice advocate and suffragette Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870, which was a call to action for mothers of all nationalities to band together in promoting world peace, and to honor and support mothers who lost sons and husbands to the carnage of the Civil War.

Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, later founded ‘Mother’s Day’ as a time to honour the sacrifices Mothers make for their children and was actively involved in getting the national holiday officially marked on the calendar year in 1914. By the 1920s, however, she outwardly voiced her disgust at the commercialization of Mother’s Day as it quickly descended into a primarily consumer-driven celebration. In the end, she spent her life’s savings pursuing lawsuits, holding boycotts and fighting against the Holiday.

What if we brought Mother’s Day back to its activist roots in Canada?

Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation in the 1800s to call attention to a system that was taking the lives of children and family members.

Mother’s Day happens to coincide with Mental Health Month, which is a month-long opportunity for mental health advocates to give voice to the severely underfunded Mental Health Care system. At Eli’s Place, we are particularly concerned with where our system is failing young adults.

Does it surprise you to know that today – in 2017 – suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in this country? 4,000 youth ages 15-24 will die prematurely in Canada due to suicide each year.  Despite the fact that 50-75% of mental illnesses begin in childhood and we KNOW that early intervention is key to recovery, only 1 in 5 children experiencing a mental health issue will receive the help they need.

The mental health care system in Canada is failing our children

What if we turned Mother’s Day into a national day of action calling for mental health care reform in Canada? Canada only spends 3% of its health care budget on mental health, lagging far behind places like New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom where funding ranges from 10-14% of the health care budget. You can read more surprising statistics that make it clear mental health care needs more attention in this country on our blog here.

Here are three reasons we think advocating for Mental Health on Mother’s Day makes sense. If you agree, feel free to share these images on social media using the hashtag #Mothers4MentalHealth and tag @Elis_Place on Twitter and @ElisPlace on Facebook!


#Mothers4MentalHealth want you to know these 3 surprising statistics:

To learn more about each statistic and view our references, please click here.


Eli’s Place Residential Treatment Centre will offer a range of recovery-based programs for adults 19 – 35 years of age who have serious mental illness, and who may also be struggling though issues of substance abuse.

The first of its kind in Canada, Eli’s Place will provide treatment within a therapeutic rural environment. There, participants will develop the skills to recover from illness, as they gain valuable life and work skills to help ensure a successful transition back to the community. As part of its multi-phase approach, Eli’s Place will also provide ongoing in-community support as needed.

Please help us build the first Long Term Residential Recovery-Based Treatment Centre For Youth in Canada by donating today!

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