August 21 – Mental health is not a disease ….

Sitting at the University of British Columbia today and listening to Stan Kutcher speak about Adolescent Mental Health was one of the most inspiring and fulfilling presentations I have heard in a long time.

I heard that mental health is a disorder, not a disease.   Mental health information should be taught just like any other piece of curriculum.  Dr. Kutcher called it Mental Health Literacy.  I knew more about mental health walking out than I did walking in.  It isn’t about bad parenting.  It isn’t about what you eat or what you wear.  Mental health disorders are derived from conception through gene selection.   It’s what happens in ones life that may make it manifest itself.  We try to build resiliency and learn how to cope through experiences.  There is a population that struggle through this.  Subsequently, they are the ones who have the greatest difficulties.

  • Fact – A brain at 25 years old is 75% water.  There are billions of neurons in it.  In a brain of someone who is depressed, there are misfirings.  They see things in a different way.
  • Fact – If a teen has attempted suicide and gets the proper treatment, they will grow to have a fruitful life.
  • Fact – Mental problems, mental distresses and mental health disorders are all different things.
  • Fact – Treatments for mental health disorders may include psychological and pharmacological.
  • Fact – Treatment for those suffering from mental health disorders all need to be individualized.

Teen Mental Health – Dalhousie University  This link has so many good resources, videos, etc to present to families and teens.

I finally got a DRAFT report from Amanda’s stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital.  I need to go through it carefully.  But it makes me cry because then I think of how impulsive Amanda was on that afternoon of October 10th.  She should be here Back to School shopping.  Buying shoes, clothes, new underwear, make-up, etc.

This is where life is frustrating.   They say that first are the worst.

What about the seconds????  Anticipating them is making me feel sick to my stomach.

About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health.
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5 Responses to August 21 – Mental health is not a disease ….

  1. merle48 says:

    THAT is my biggest fear when my own child blurts those dreaded six words out…impulsiveness. How unfortunate that most teens are impulsive, because their brains have not fully matured. Then there are those who have an impulsive nature due to their mental illness…it is not something to EVER take lightly as I once said. However, sometimes the impulsive behavior comes when no one is watching, and that is out of our control.


  2. H.I.D. says:

    Carol.. Yourself, Amanda, and your Family are thought of every single day.
    Yes, Amanda should be here, and to be Living in a World full of Love… not Hate.


  3. akismet-a3cefc9a4b7dbba2070ced217581170f says:

    My Dad died when I was 14. People kept telling me it would get easier but what I learned was that you never stop missing them, that always hurts, but you get more practiced at learning how to live without them.

    Time doesn’t heal wounds, but it teaches you how to live with them.

    You’re still in that first year hellish vortex. The 2nd year you will have this year under your belt so have had some practice. Easier? Who knows.

    You’re constantly self-medicating yourself Carol by helping others and looking for answers. That doesn’t bring Amanda back but it gives her short life more power to make a difference … and you should be proud of that.

    My teen years were a write-off because of my Dad’s illness and death. That pain is what drove me to work with troubled teens. I know how it feels to want to die, to be in so much pain you just want it to stop. That’s why I’m so comfortable talking to suicidal teens … because I’ve been there myself. I never attempted suicide but sure saw it as a possible option to stop the grief and pain. It’s never the answer … but I was young … my brain was fragile.

    Our losses prompted us to help others … that helped me get thru some bad times.

    You will get better at being happy over time … it happens … there is life after loss.


  4. la Punisher says:

    Agreed,… Amanda should be here… growing up and doing what young ladies do

    Hugz Carol


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