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Ignite The Voice Knows That Youth Mental Health Matters, By Jayla Anderson (15)

Moving into the age of the internet, global pandemics, and lockdowns, Ignite the Voice Inc. found one common denominator within today’s youth. The events of 2020 and the months leading up to it have impacted the mental wellbeing of our youth in a way that must be acknowledged. The board and members of ITV sought a solution through a virtual series, Our Mental Health Matters. OMHM is a 4-part series ITV hosted for today's youth as a way to create a “safe space" to discuss issues that ranged from depression and anxiety to the racism that students experienced in and out of the classroom. By taking a moment to ask today’s youth how they are feeling emotionally and educating each other on today's societal issues, we can slowly make a difference.

Session #1

The introduction of OMHM discussed the importance of mental health support and the subject of stigmas.

Mental health -

Q - What is mental health?

A - MH is how you take things in / react and how that affects you mentally and physically.

A - MH is self care and taking time to yourself.

Q - What are some things that could change in the future for our youth to receive services for mental health?

A - Health care insurance and more diverse professionals could contribute to having more MH resources.

A - More integrated schools and workforces.

Q - How did COVID affect your mental health?

A - COVID made me realize how vital having a routine is.

A - COVID helped me realize that I rely on some sort of interaction with others.

Stigmas -

  • The lack of addressing MH for men due to masculinity.

  • Religious stigmas ie. pray away your mental struggles.

  1. Public stigma

  2. The public endorses descrimintaion and prejudice that results in deteriorating MH.

  3. Discriminations against minority groups, LGBT community, people and topics surrounding mental illness, etc.

  1. Self stigma

  2. When someone with mental illness / substance abuse internalizes public stigma

Nobody can tell you how you are truly feeling or fix the problem but you! Many people ignore their mental illness due to self stigmas and resort to unhealthy crutches like drugs and/or self harm

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