Speaking about dealing with poor mental health definitely still has a stigma in 2016. As someone who struggled with mental health like many young people, I think it is vital to be open about my experiences and create an environment that people feel comfortable speaking about their experiences as well.
Places like Sunnybrook provide resources and support for youth who are struggling, while also supporting their families. It’s not easy to admit you need help, but it is also equally hard on the families who are confused and wanting to desperately help their loved one. When I run for youth mental health with RBC Race for the Kids, I’m helping to support these services and you can too!
Running is a great way to promote positive physical health. For me it is also a great way to support my mental health. It gives me time with just my mind to get in tune with my own feelings, while also giving me an activity and chance to challenge myself. Running is a huge part of my life. I find myself always trying to challenge myself in new ways, experiencing races with friends, and finding happiness with my running shoes on.
At the same time, while I run and train for youth mental health with RBC Race for the Kids, I can help reduce stigma by making it okay to talk about mental health by speaking openly about my own experiences, and using it as an opportunity to provide a shoulder to lean on for those around me. Being a kid isn’t easy, and neither are the many life transitions and decisions we make as youth. It’s vital that we make sure youth who are struggling through these times know they aren’t alone.
By openly taking about mental health both good and bad, we can break the stigma around mental health, and the RBC Race for the Kids is a perfect way to contribute!