May 2 – 6, 2016 is Children’s Mental Health Week, a national annual campaign that aims to raise awareness about child and youth mental health challenges and promote an understanding that help is available and treatment works. In the lead up to this year’s campaign, staff at Peel Children’s Centre worked together to engage clients and staff to develop resources that are relevant and helpful to the children, youth and families in our community. The following blog was written in response to the feedback we received from our colleagues and our clients, and we hope it helps. You can also download a printable version of the blog via the link at the bottom of this page.
Sam, age 14
So, here's the thing…
This morning I refused to go to school. My parents have been on my case for weeks. I wish they'd leave me alone! Ever since my mom saw the marks on my arm she thinks I'm going to die or something. Yeah, I smoke weed from time to time, but I could quit if I wanted to.
They just don't understand. They don't listen! They tell me to “suck it up” and “not let everything get to me”, but they don't get it … I am trying.
No one gets it. They don't listen. They don't know that my stomach feels like it’s churning and my head is throbbing. The doctor says I'm fine but every time I think about school I feel like throwing up.
No one knows what happened. No one knows what I'm going through and if they did, then what? Would they blame me? Would it stop? Would I feel okay again? Could I go back to doing all the things I loved?
I wish I had someone to talk to …
Alex, a counsellor at Peel Children's Centre
Don’t worry, you’re not to blame. I’m here to listen to you and help you feel better.
From time to time we all experience stress and try to regain balance in our lives. Whether we are young or old, we may experience situations that leave us feeling sad, alone, frustrated, confused or tired.
Talking to someone can help. One of the things that I love most about being a mental health counsellor is that I can be that someone. It’s a special experience to have someone share their story with me and I am amazed by the strength I see in the children and youth I meet who, like you, are facing difficult situations.
The moments we share together are also humbling. I am mindful that we share similar challenges because we all encounter struggles in our lives, and finding a way to remain productive, happy and confident in ourselves can be difficult at times.
You may feel upset right now, but there is hope. Things can get better.
Feeling alone is scary. I am here to help.
Do you need to talk to someone who will listen and not judge? Well, you have options!
If you need help right now: You can call Peel Children’s Centre’s Crisis Response Service at 416-410-8615 for help any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
If you need help sometimes: You can visit a Tangerine Walk-In Counselling location. This service is offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout Peel Region. Visit www.tangerinewalkin.com for hours and locations.
If you need ongoing help: You can call Mental Health Services for Children & Youth (Centralized Intake) at 905-451-4655 to make an appointment with a mental health professional.
All of these services are free of charge and confidential.