Being crowned Miss Teenage Alberta 2020 has opened so many doors for me, including the opportunity to bring awareness to important causes, such as my platform, children and adolescents mental health. Mental Health is slowly becoming a rising issue in our world today, especially in adolescents and teenagers. Which is why I feel so blessed to have a title that allows me to speak up and help provide support to my peers. As a teenager, I battle the stresses and anxiety of balancing school, extracurricular activities, and self care time. I understand how growing up and learning to face the world can be scary, so as a teenager, I want to help my fellow peers transition through this confusing time.
Mental Health is an important topic for today’s youth. In fact, the total number of youth age 12-19 who have depression in Canada is over 3.2 million and due to this, suicide is the second most highest cause of death, with Canada having the third most highest suicide rates in the world.
Over the course of my reign so far, I have been trying to shed as much light possible on this topic to make as much of a difference as I can. A part of this is by helping to raise funds for the new Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Centre at the Alberta Children’s hospital. This facility is planned to open Fall of 2021 and will help provide community-based mental health services for Children and Adolescents. This centre has many programs available to help youth such as, a walk in clinic, intensive treatment, and a day hospital, as well as many wonderful Physiatrists.
Now over 50 percent of people go undiagnosed or never see a doctor when going through mental health issues, which is why it is extremely important to watch out for any symptoms that may be an indication of any type of mental illness. These symptoms include extreme mood changes, excessive worrying, significant tiredness, loss of appetite, suicidal thoughts, and many others. If experiencing these symptoms it is extremely important to go see a doctor, speak to a trusted adult, or call any of the available hotlines to get help.
We need to start paying attention to mental health and the importance of making sure that we are listening to our body and its feelings, as well as supporting each other. Remember, you are not alone! We are all one world, one society, and one team! Let’s make a difference, together!