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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

Join us as we work hard to raise awareness, fight against stigma, and share stories of change! All week long we’ll be publishing content related to mental health and mental illness, and sharing different people’s perspectives on what mental health means to them.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation!

 

Monday, May 1

Today we kicked off Mental Health Week with a photography presentation from our Zone’s multi-media program. After twelve weeks, our youth showed off their final art pieces in honour of #MentalHealthWeek. Their artwork and photographs explored Aspirations, Mental Health & Leadership. Below are just a few samples! How do you like to express yourself?

    

Tuesday, May 2

Everyone has different ways of managing their own mental health. In honour of Mental Health Week, we asked Kaitlin, one of the participant’s of the Gender-Based Violence program’s upcoming photography exhibit HOLD STILL: The Stories of Youth Human Trafficking Survivors, how taking photos helped her cope with her own mental health struggles and what this photo means to her.

“This picture is very symbolic to me. Growing up I was suicidal, insecure and full of fear.  I always thought people were judging me. I felt different than other people.  In a room of 100 people, I felt alone and I didn’t understand why.  When I was 12 years old I found my first drug. Up until I was 26, I experienced so much trauma I wanted to die. Drugs and alcohol, men, money and cutting were the solution to my problems.  But they stopped working.

No one deserves to feel alone and empty.  No one deserves to feel judged and live in fear.

My life today is filled with joy. Not every day is lollipops and rainbows.  But I have tools to survive and live without a substance or immediate gratification. The best thing about this picture, is it [symbolizes] that when I stop and take a second to get out of my head,  I realize all the beauty around me.

My whole life I just wanted to feel loved.  I was tired of feeling alone and empty inside. So I want you to know that if no one has told you they love you yet today, I do.”

-Kaitlin

 

This photo is part of  HOLD STILL: The Stories of Youth Human Trafficking Survivors, photography exhibit and silent auction, taking place on June 2 at 918 Bathurst, 7 – 10 p.m. Buy your tickets here.