Founded in memory of the late Cam Hicks
Written by Matteo Cimellaro
Last year the University of Guelph tragically lost four students due to mental health issues. The event received national media attention and the University was scrutinized for the resources available for students.
Now in their second year in Guelph, Cam’s Kids — an Uxbridge based non-profit organization — hopes to promote awareness and resources to help youth struggling with anxiety.
“What we provide is resources and techniques on how to properly manage anxiety. It’s different for every person […] so we offer a lot of different techniques,” said Kaitlin Young in an interview with The Ontarion. Young is a U of G student and Cam’s Kids ambassador.
The organization was founded by the parents of the late Cam Hicks. In high school, Hicks struggled with his anxiety and opted for home schooling throughout grades nine and 10.
To manage his anxiety, Hicks integrated nutrition, herbs, supplements, homeopathy, energy work, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
After two years of learning to manage his anxiety, Hicks slowly reintegrated himself into high school classes and thrived. He participated in sports, extracurriculars, and emceed his high school’s talent show.
In 2014, only two months into his postsecondary studies at the University of Ottawa, Hicks passed away in a tragic motor vehicle accident.
Young, who is also from Uxbridge, knew Hicks personally and said that the Hicks family “felt that he didn’t receive the attention he needed.” The Hicks family decided to found the organization in memory of their late son.
Now, the Cam’s Kids foundation has over 60 ambassadors spreading awareness and resources across communities in Canada.
Young and others hope to build Cam’s Kids presence on campus. One initiative is a candy cane drop-off during exams where Cam’s Kids volunteers pass out candy canes with positive notes and stress-management tips.
“One thing we really try to do is to tell [youth] to take a big breath. It’s okay to not be okay; you can’t always see it like that so we’re here to help,” Young said.
To view the original article check out the University of Guelph Newspaper: https://www.theontarion.com/2017/11/cams-kids-offers-support-for-those-with-anxiety/
*Photo Credits- Alora Griffiths