It’s been more than a year and a half since a new team of counselors and mental health professional have taken responsibility for TeenCentral. It’s a small but mighty team with a passion for kids, teens, young adults and even the occasional parent who stops by to drop us a line or a question, and we welcome them all. We have an absolute passion for offering support to anyone who needs to hear a kind voice in the darkness.
Today, October 10, 2021 is World Mental Health Day. It was first celebrated in 1992 and I bet most of our readers and story writers were not even born yet, were you?!?! This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is striving to get mental health care for EVERYONE. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone in the world had easy access to really good and really helpful ongoing mental health care? That’s the idea!
The last two years have not be easy, have they? It has shaken us all up and changed our lives. Every time we keep thinking things are getting back to normal (whatever that is) something else happens to take us backwards – more mask wearing, more vaccine issues, boosters, kids now worrying about getting the virus and bringing it home to their families. Kids going to school, then not going to school, then going to school again. Kids having activities, then everything being shut down again…
TeenCentral hears about your frustration. When I was in school I had my chorus class next to my other chorus members. But many of you have had whole concerts via Zoom. And I have to just say, “Bravo to you for that, because THAT is way harder that it looks people.”
Put all of this on top of mental health problems that may have already existed in your lives like having depression, anxiety, out of control anger, being a foster kid, moving from place to place, abuse of any kind, neglect, domestic violence in your home (just watching it is enough to be traumatizing), struggles with academics, peer pressure, divorced families blended families, socio-economic problems (money problems), community violence (riots, gang issues, crime near your home, etc.), substance use in families, possibly your own substance use issues, poor self image/esteem, eating disorders, lack of general self-care….I really could go on and on. It seems like an overwhelming situation. How does a person, let alone a kid, cope with all of this on their own?
This is why getting mental health services is so important.
This is why breaking down the barriers and stigmas about mental health is non-negotiable.
In my 26 years of experience I’d be a rich woman if I had $1 for every time I said the following:
“If you found out you were diabetic you would see a doctor and you would work with that doctor to figure out how to get your medicine. If you had a cold you would go to urgent care and you would get antibiotics. There’s absolutely nothing different about mental health. You need some help. You see a doctor. Simple as that. No shame. “
In reality I know it’s not quite that simple for everyone, but you get the idea of what I’m saying. But even for those of you who have some hurdles to jump through to get the funding for mental health care, the possibility is out there. You don’t have to go without. There are opportunities for you.
I know that many of our readers and story writers are not of the Christian tradition. I see you and acknowledge you today. I am posting a link to a prayer that is specific to World Mental Health Day for those who ARE of that tradition, so if you would rather skip this I completely understand. I encourage you to look on youtube for prayers that are offered from your own religion and cultural tradition, or possibly sit down and write your own prayer for today. Send them in as a story to TeenCentral and we’d be happy to post them!
In the meantime here is one for some of you to listen to – something to feed your soul on the Christian traditional Sabbath day of rest. I encourage all people to give themselves moments of rest to see beauty in the world and in their lives. We at TeenCentral are wishing you all TRUTH and LIGHT today. Take a moment to provide yourself some self-care. Do something to take one step toward the LIGHT today.