It has been 2 years now, 2 years since my teen would have a serious mental health episode. She, thankfully has come a long way, but it has been a long path as it is for any person that suffers with a serious mental health issue. I know I have walked along side her on this path.
2 years ago, the wait list to get a high priority child in Ontario have not changed. There has been no movement in the budget for health care especially when it comes to our kids, our teens. 2 years ago we waited 2 months for a hospital bed in Canada’s largest city. 2 months, let that wait time sink in. No wonder one quarter of all teen deaths in this country are from suicide. We do not have the resources in place in the community to get teens and kids the help they need.
My teen was wait listed for community help programs, that never came. I had to pay out of pocket for therapy. The wait list in every Canadian city is long. If you are a parent the stats should scare you.
Then there is the stigma that goes with having a mental illness. Many do not seek help or treatment because the way they are treated. We do not talk about this health issue as just that. We are glad to support friends and family members who have other life threatening illnesses, but when it comes to mental illness we shy away. We stop hanging out, we are of little use to those in the battle. Why? There is the stigma associated with it, yet many suffer from it.
Many of our teens are not as lucky as mine, I got lucky found her a good therapist and worked with her to get her healthy. She is now doing amazingly well, and every single day I am thankful for that but I am often reminded many are not so lucky.
Today lets talk about mental health. On Twitter Bell Canada is giving 5 cents for ever tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. Last year I shared my teens story. Before that I shared this infographic that I created. Feel free to share it. Remember 1 in 5 Canadians, that 20% of us will experience a mental health illness at some time. Many of these have their onset when we are kids or teens, so lets try to do a little better and maybe by next year we can share how we are doing better.