“I wanted to be here today because I realize how important it is to join with others on this journey, which so often can feel silent and lonely.”
The mother of a former Lutherwood client, got on stage and shared her powerful message about mental health with the crowd on Sunday, May 6th at Lutherwood’s annual Steps for Kids.
“When we made the difficult decision to enroll our daughter in Lutherwood’s residential program, it forced me to confront my own sense of stigma and judgements, the one that said only those families sent their kids to live away from home because they weren’t able to provide them with the care they needed. The reality was I was that parent and I needed help as much as my daughter needed help.”
Each year, Steps for Kids participants gather at Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health Centre to collectively show their support for those who are struggling and to share their stories so that kids and families don’t feel alone. This year, more than 700 people attended, along with 41 corporate sponsors and 83 volunteers, making it the largest turnout yet! And, together, we raised an incredible $156,000 to support Lutherwood’s children’s mental health treatment programs.
Thanks to everyone who came out to show support and keep the conversation going. By having these important conversations, we are helping others realize that they are not alone and that is is OK to ask for help.
To help us keep the conversation going:
1. Talk openly about mental health: the more we include mental health in our day-to-day conversations, the more others will understand what mental health is and feel comfortable talking about it.
2. Listen and show compassion to others: Letting others talk about their mental health experiences can help in their healing process. Be sure to listen and show compassion.
3. Share your own story: as we learned above, to kids who are struggling, knowing that they are not alone can make a world of difference. Don’t be afraid of sharing your own mental health story and recovery because it can help others and give them hope.
4. Integrate mental wellness into your daily routine: do what you need to do each day to be mentally well. Take breaks regularly and take time to do the things that you enjoy. Encourage others to do the same!
5. Ask for help if you need it: If you are struggling with your mental health, don’t let the stigma hold you back from asking for help or seeking treatment. Your first step to mental wellness is asking for help!