Good advice with #Bell Let’s Talk – January 26, 2014

#Bell Let’s Talk Day ended on the west coast 56 minutes ago.  The last I had heard, there were over 100 million tweets, retweets, messages, etc.  This is a campaign which is very near and dear to my heart.  For the reason that many youth, young adults and older adults suffer from the extremes of mental health issues.  Many are embarrassed to talk about and subsequently don’t seek help.   Many are afraid to talk about it for the reasons that it may affect the way others regard them.  They may be afraid that if their employers knew that they had a mental health illness, then they wouldn’t be competent to do their job.  Would an individual get as stigmatized if they had a heart condition, a brain tumour or even a blood disorder?

My daughter Amanda had depression and anxiety.  When she finally had the courage to speak up and talk about how she felt, others made fun of her.  With that, she retreated more into her shell.   Here is a sample of how she felt in a letter she wrote to another mom describing her pain.  I remember Amanda sending me this and found it again in my computer just the other day.  It saddens me how someone so young and who should have been enjoying her teen years felt and internalized feelings that we all wish as parents and caregivers never existed.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 1.04.17 AM

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 1.04.07 AM

 

I want Amanda’s words to be a reminder to others to encourage speaking up.  If you are a friend of someone who is saying similar kind of words, HELP them or go find someone who can HELP.  Often the person that is in despair is no longer able to seek support.  That is why it is important that WE ALL learn about the signs of mental illness so that we can lend that hand.

In the Angel Rehtaeh’s Facebook page today, this was found.  Three more teens that should be looking forward to their futures. Three more families devastated by grief.  Many more teens who will be upset at the losses of their friends.  Those teens here and now must be cared for.  Research has shown that the two years after the death of a friend are the most critical. This is the time to talk, not be silent.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 1.23.44 AMScreen Shot 2014-01-29 at 1.23.54 AM

The British Columbia Teacher’s Federation recently focusssed their Jan/Feb New Magazine on mental health issues and titled their cover with ‘Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness’.  As can be seen from the cover below, there are so very many facets of mental health and in this issue, the articles talk about the different concerns, symptoms and what needs to be part of the solutions. Some of this may be new information to many.  A copy of this magazine can be seen at the following link – http://issuu.com/explore .  I have some copies of it in printed form.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 8.09.11 PM

In today’s media, the article below was found.  The headline says it all – Toronto schools will get mental health training.  I think it is a step in the RIGHT direction as the majority (not all) kids are in our school system.  I can only HOPE that it will be something that every school district in Canada and beyond will embrace.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 12.55.10 AM

There was also this tweet on the #BellLet’sTalk twitter page.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.20.17 PM Tony is right.  The conversation needs to continue — every day — 24/7.  But only we can make sure that happens.  Like Pink Shirt Day, it isn’t a one day campaign.  It is a 24/7 = 365 day endeavour.

I have been in contact with many parents from all over the world who have lost their children too soon.  The one message that is the same and consistent no matter what the international boundaries may be, or language barriers, or time difference – We ALL need to work together to SHIFT THE WAY OF THINKING and to MAKE THE CHANGE!!  Please take note of every commerical ad, public service announcement, magazine and newspaper article that talks about mental health awareness.

Every snowflake in the world is unique, individual and fragile.  Just like people.  I miss you everyday Amanda ~~ STAY STRONG!!

IMG_1651

Advertisements

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. www.amandatoddlegacy.org
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Good advice with #Bell Let’s Talk – January 26, 2014

  1. merle48 says:

    Amanda’s description of what she was feeling is classic symptoms of social anxiety/panic disorder and unfortunately if she was taking medication already for this, the wrong one could exacerbate the symptoms or create new ones. Educating teachers about mental health should be mandatory, as I notice a huge turnover of children who require the extra understanding and acceptance. Yet, this has always been a problem in schools, where there were not enough social skills taught to children and faculty as opposed to the “textbook” curriculum. We as a society cannot survive too well without social skills and the care in communicating with students as well as others when there are mental issues which affect EVERYTHING they do. It’s really so elementary that we approach these problems with KNOWLEDGE, as opposed to misunderstanding which can equal fear and ridicule. We ALL have minds which falter at times, so why do others still believe it will NEVER happen to them? Reading Amanda’s words brings the sadness for her and others right back to me although I do believe in her destiny!

    Like

  2. Hamsi says:

    The kind of pain Amanda felt is horrible even for a grown up to go through…..in a child, simply unbearable. Sadly, more and more kids are gong through this nowadays. Carol, I commend you for sharing your young girl’s pain and spreading the message of tolerance and understanding.

    Like

  3. Marcia Wiebe says:

    Hi Carol,I read this post and was brought to tears after reading what your daughter Amanda wrote.It breaks my heart to know how she felt. It is so important (as you said) that we all learn about the signs so we can offer help. I can’t believe that it’s been 2 months since my brother has been gone. My emotions are like a roller coastersomedays so sad and others so very, very angry. My husband wants me to go and talk to a professional, but I just don’t know who the best person to talk to would be. As for now, I am just trying to concentrate on the court issues. I did go to court again on Jan. 21st with the support of my 2 cousins. Although I was unable to keep Wally and Debbie from gaining titles as Guardians over my Dad, the judge did allow me 45 days to contest and come back with my lawyer to fight our case. The judge was very sympathetic to our case and added to the court order that they cannot move my Dad (we were very worried about that) and that the money from the sale of the house must be held in trust. I am meeting with my lawyer again soon to continue our work on this case and hopefully when we go back to court, the matter will be resolved once and for all. I hope they will determine that those 2 are unsuitable to care for my father. Thank you again for sharing this good advice and I support you and am so grateful for all the work you do and attention you are bringing to this cause.God bless you! Marcia

    Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 09:36:09 +0000 To: marciawiebe@hotmail.com

    Like

  4. la Punisher says:

    Mental Health is not as taboo as it once was… But still has a long way to go
    As for Amanda’s MH issues… That poor child must of felt so alone in this sick world.. ‘RIP Peace Sweetie’

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s