We all have mental health. Regardless of our age, life experience or background, it’s something we all live with. Our mental health is like a spectrum, a continuum that can move fluidly between being mentally well, or potentially mentally ill. There are a variety of factors that dictate how we move on that continuum— things such as genetics, our life experiences and even our lifestyles (sleep, diet, exercise etc.). We know that the earlier we can work to build skills and resiliency, the much greater rates of mental wellness we can experience. This begs the question, what is being done in our community to support youth mental health?
You are driving past a school play yard and you see thirty kids playing on the school field at recess. According to widely-accepted figures, at least six of those kids you see – all sons, daughters, grandkids, cousins, neighbours, members of our community – will suffer or are suffering from some sort of mental health issue, be it anxiety, trauma, a mood disorder, or an emotional, social and behavioural issue.