Cassie + Friends and Brain Canada Announce a New Research Partnership to Transfo… – Press Release


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cassie + Friends (C + F) and Brain Canada are pleased to announce their new partnership to fund research that will address mental health in youth with rheumatic diseases such as juvenile arthritis and lupus – conditions that affect every 3 in 1000 kids or 24,000 children across Canada. Together, they want to provide support to children and families living with these painful, chronic, and potentially devastating conditions, and ensure they receive timely care and treatment for their mental health needs.

Pediatric rheumatic diseases can have long-term physical and psychosocial effects on a young person. These conditions can result in chronic pain, fatigue, and physical limitations that can impact the day-to-day and overall quality of life of children and teenagers as well as young adults. Youth with these conditions, and especially females, are at increased risk of developing mental illnesses characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour associated with significant distress and impaired functioning, such as anxiety and depression.

Jennifer Wilson, Executive Director of Cassie + Friends, says: “Children growing up with rheumatic disease can be severely affected by their diagnosis, symptoms, and treatments. Hearing from youth and their families over the last 16 years just how devastating this can be, with little awareness and few resources to count on, we are thrilled to be leading the way with Brain Canada towards our ultimate vision of a pain-free future for kids that includes relief from mental pain.”

A Parent in the C+F community, Jennifer Faber from Windsor, ON, says: “I am so happy to hear about this research funding to help transform mental health for kids like my son, who lives with Juvenile Arthritis. My son was an active 11-year-old when he was diagnosed. His arthritis first disabled him with pain and then crippling anxiety for over a year. He could have really used more emotional…