By Kadeem Daley, Mental Health Professional
Asking for help is hard!
Accepting the help is even harder.
On the path to getting better, the first thing anyone needs to do is acknowledge the state of their mental health. Teenagers use different ways to ask for help when in crisis. I encourage all teenagers to verbalize the need for help when under distress. We often find ourselves overwhelmed with tremendous stress before we ask for help.
Encouraging others to ask for help and guidance before it's too late is something I want to encourage all teens and youth to do. I can understand how hard it is to tell someone you are in pain, that you are past the point of being able to withstand it. Describing the unique pain you feel to someone unknown (or even someone you trust) is one of the hardest things teenagers have to face everyday.
As a child and youth counselor working with teens dealing with mental health I encourage as many teens to have open conversations with their parents, guidance counselors, social workers, and teachers about the pain. Asking for help is a part of the healing process; it allows you to express the emotions you feel, it allows the people you love into the world you live in.
I strongly believe in asking for help before the stress is no longer tolerable. I encourage all teens to make the first step by asking for help.
Let the ones who love you get the help you need. When you build a strong relationship with your family and friends your road to getting help will not be alone. When we look at the amount of teenagers who come in contact with crisis and those who suffer from neglect, bullying, and or a sense of hopelessness many teenagers and adolescents struggle to find someone who they are able to trust.
The road to getting help does not have to be alone.
We must encourage students, teenagers, adolescents, and children to ask for help so we can build a strong community. A community that is willing to listen and not judge those who are suffering. A community built to empower teens to ask for help and a community that is willing to do everything and anything to make a difference. The pain is unique but my message remains the same: The road to getting help does not have to be alone.
Frame Of Mind is a new series inspired by The Maddie Project that focuses on teens and mental health. The series will aim to raise awareness and spark a conversation by speaking directly to teens who are going through a tough time, as well as their families, teachers and community leaders. We want to ensure that teens who are struggling with mental illness get the help, support and compassion they need. If you would like to contribute a blog to this series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maddie Project is a community effort in support of youth struggling with depression and other mental health related concerns. Driven by community collaboration and events, the project's goals are to raise awareness by sparking conversations about youth depression and mental health concerns as well as to help provide uninhibited access to support for youth and their families.
The Maddie Project was founded in April 2015 in memory of Madeline Grace German Coulter. To date the project has engaged 100s of thousands in active conversations around youth mental health and has raised over $1 million dollars in partnership with North York General Hospital Foundation towards the development of Maddie's Healing Garden and support of other child and adolescent mental health services at North York General Hospital.
One in five Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime Source: Canadian Mental Health Association
Nearly half of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem. Source: CMHA
Latest studies showed more than 1.3 million young Canadians have a mood disorder or addiction. Two-thirds had symptoms before the age of 15. Source: Statistics Canada, Government of Canada
Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15- to 24-year-old Canadians, second only to accidents. In 2012, 261 Canadian kids and teens took their own lives. Source: CMHA, Statistics Canada
LGBTQ youth face about 14 times the risk of suicide and substance abuse than their heterosexual peers Source: CMHA Ontario
First Nations youth are at a higher risk. The suicide rate among First Nations youth is roughly five to seven times higher than that of the general population. Source: Parliament of Canada study, 2014
People with mental illness and addictions are more likely to die prematurely than those without. Mental illness can cut 10 to 20 years from a person’s life expectancy. Source: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Contending with her bipolar disorder brought Yashi Brown to poetry, and with it, she's trying to end the stigma of mental illness.
If you need help, visit ementalhealth.ca to search for services in your area. Or call the Kids' Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, it's Canada's only free phone counselling service for youth under 20.
More From Frame Of Mind:
- I'm An MP And I'm Among Those Who Struggle With Depression
- Why I Talk About My Depression (And You Should Too)
- Case Of The Blues Or Teen Depression? Know The Signs
- 11 Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Kids' Mental Health
- Anxiety Disorders: You Are Not Alone And You Can Beat This
- Mental Illness And Teens: It Impacts Every One Of Us
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