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Supporting Youth in the Toughest Years

November 18th, 2015 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Health | Issues | Ottawa

I have a vivid memory of sitting in the corner of my family kitchen sobbing. I was in the midst of one of my worst ever bouts of depression. I was lost. I had graduated college with high marks but couldn’t find a job. I didn’t have any friends in town so I had gone from being social every day to be alone most of the time. I sat there sobbing and hoping someone would find me and help me before I spun into the void even more.

I had been on anti-depressants before. My father knew I was in crisis, had considered suicide at 16, he threatened to tell my mother if I didn’t talk to her. So I did, through uncomfortable tears, and I went to the doctor and she gave me a prescription.

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I got out of that place, but not fully away from that problem. I suffered from postpartum depression, I’ve had struggles since. But I survived being a teenager, and that was probably the hardest part.

So now I turn to those who are still trying to survive the hell that is high school with a mental illness.

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Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau is creating a tool to help teenagers going through what I went through. When I was approached to support the project I jumped at the chance. The Youth Services Bureau has launched a online chat tool (chat.ysb.ca) as part of their #RealLifeMatters campaign to help kids in crisis reach out and talk to someone where they are most comfortable.

The chat, which was designed after research found that a lot of teens would be more comfortable communicating the problems they are facing that way, is available Thursday to Sunday from 4 pm to 10 pm. The bureau also has a walk-in clinic and telephone crisis line.

The chat line is a safe space for teens to express themselves and talk openly about the tough things they’re going through.

They’re also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so check it out and share with youth in your life who might need it or might know someone who does.

(Furthermore, right now the Youth Services Bureau is running a text to donate campaign for emergency shelters for youth in need in our community – Text YOUTH to 20222 and you will be prompted to select how much you want to donate).

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