Posted in Stigma Talks

Youths showing courage by reaching out…

Feeling sad, anxious, just feeling like life is passing you by like a long freight train and? It has been dragging on for months, maybe even years? What is going through your mind…thoughts like:

“Ah, it’s just that I am not focussed enough. It must be that I am not strong enough? Umm, I’m just feeling sorry for myself…ya think?!!”

You go to school or work and friends tell you to just “stop thinking about it” like that will make it all go away. Another friend says in shock, “But you look alright” or another snickers, “But you are so handsome/beautiful and come from such a great family. You have everything…what on earth could be bringing YOU down. Sheeeesh, I wish I had YOUR problems…!”

Well, mental illness has NO discrimination and it can hit anyone. It would sure be nice if more people DID talk about this so these youths would not suffer with this pain for so long needlessly.

Here is what I have to say about this…You really don’t have to sit with these feelings and let them fester!

Also, it is not the greatest idea to search on the internet to try and self-diagnose…INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

Reaching out to a trusted friend, adult, family member are excellent options as well as family doctor. Did you know that all youths 14 years and older may consult with a medical health professional without parental consent? Well, they can and sometimes that is not a bad idea because lots of youths do NOT want to worry or burden their parents. A doctor can help a youth explain the situation gently to parents if need be.

You have spoken to one or two persons thus far and they don’t seem to GET IT. Don’t give up! Go to option b, c, d…(you have at least 26 options!) and hopefully you will put a few crisis lines in those options like Kids Help Phone for instance 1-800-668-6868.

Some services are confidential but the uniqueness of Kids Help Phone is that it is an anonymous service…they do not have call display, they do not trace calls and they are free and open 24 hours a day to all youths from 5 to 20 years old all over Canada; it is serviced ONLY by professional counsellors and offered in both English and in French.

Some youths may feel they just can’t talk on the phone or don’t have enough privacy to speak intimately; more and more services are offering different types of support. Some prefer on-line counselling and that too is beginning to pick up in popularity and accessibility… Kids Help Phone is keeping up with the times and in the section “Ask a Counsellor” youths can actually send in a personal and private message that will be answered by a counsellor within a few days.

And yet, there are times when a youth needs someone NOW and still can’t get that privacy to talk on the phone…so using their smart phones or computers seem to be their only resource…for now. Kids Help Phone continues to step up to the plate and is trying to meet the demands of such youths by offereing Live Chat (which started as a pilot project a year ago and also offered in BOTH in English and in French.

There IS help out there…there are many resources that many are not aware of. That is probably because of the stigma attached to mental health so people don’t talk about it. IF Kids Help Phone cannot give you that support, they can certainly tap into their extensive database of over 38,000 resources across the country and help a youth find another support for their needs.

Several months ago, Kids Help Phone asked youths several questions pertaining to accessibility and preferences of counselling services for youths. The CEO of Kids Help Phone tells CTV a little about this

http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=898322&playlistId=1.1223652&binId=1.

If you know of someone who is suffering with emotional turmoil and they are youths let them know about
http://kidshelpphone.ca services at 1-800-668-6868.

More info here:

http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/proofpositive

http://www.thestar.com/life/2013/04/03/kids_help_phone_users_report_less_distress_after_counselling.html

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Author:

A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin http://cheryllynnroberts.wordpress.com I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. http://stigmahursteveryone.wordpress.com Namaste!

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