Helping Youth Cope With Mental Illness

May 7, 2017 is National Child and Youth Mental Health Day, and this year we’re challenging you to connect with youth in our community. Currently 15% of Canadian youth are facing mental health challenges. That number significantly increases when we look at how this crisis impacts the family unit and in turn our community.

In Renfrew County, the health statistics are extremely disheartening. Substance abuse, self-harm and suicide rates in youth are ever increasing, yet access to mental health care resources remains static.

As the pace of our lives becomes ever faster, the children that we bring into society are less and less adept at managing the effects of stress. Isolation occurs and the family unit is unprepared to cope with the cries of help from our children.

As a community we all have a responsibility to ensure that our youth have the safe and supportive resources they need to mature into healthy adults. They are our legacy.

Hope in Our Community

In Renfrew County there are several no-cost options for mental health interventions. The primary resource is the Phoenix Centre, which addresses all aspects of mental health needs in children and youth. However, as the demand for these services increases so do the waiting lists. Unfortunately, once a child reaches the age of 18, in most cases they can no longer access the services they need. So what then?

This is where the Robbie Dean Centre can fit into a family’s health plan. The Centre is designed to provide short-term interventions for everyone in Renfrew County. It also facilitates connections for long term mental health needs.

Reaching youth when stress begins to accumulate and providing them with healthy ways to release it, can drastically reduce the number of young people who find themselves in crisis. In the majority of cases our youth simply need safe and healthy resources so they can de-escalate daily stress levels before they manifest into more significant ailments.

Organizations like The Grind, The Salvation Army, Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre and Elevate Mind Body Health are all places where youth can come together and explore healthy ways to manage stress. We encourage you to learn more about these organizations and contribute to their enduring success.

Help at the Lavallee Health Centre

At the Lavallee Health Centre our primary focus is holistic healing. All our services can assist in reducing stress in youth.

Treatments such as massage, acupuncture and exercise all help troubled youth heal. Nutrition and mindfulness also directly impact how stress manifests itself in the body — because the way in we fuel our body ultimately fuels our minds.

Consumption rates of processed and high-sugar foods are on the rise. At the same time, youth are notorious for their irregular eating patterns while dealing with social pressures relevant to body image. These factors all contribute to the stress load of our youth.

However, once we start fueling the body in a manner that supports our daily needs, the mind instantly becomes clearer, facilitating the ability to make better decisions. Adding mindfulness to this equation, teaches youth to bring themselves into the moment and allow them to look at life situations with clarity rather than reactivity.

Our nutritionist and mindfulness teacher Jane Wood has a passion for working with youth and exposing them to healthier ways to show up in life. If you wish to explore some of these options with her, or any other practitioner at our clinic please contact us today.