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mindyourmind Street Team - Session Three

I have known about mindyourmind ever since I was thirteen years old. It was a site where I can be informed about mental health, which helped give me have a voice when reaching out.I would always find myself sitting on my chair and have mindyourmind on my screen whenever I needed a different, yet healthier outlet for my distress. Three years later, I am sixteen years old, and I find myself sitting in a group with young adults and the mindyourmind staff on a Wednesday evening. This time I am part of the Street Team 2009/2010. Each year, the mindyourmind Street Team does a different project, and today, we watched a video of what a group of young adults, from mindyourmind, collaborated on in 2004. Though the movie was just about six years ago, the messages from each segment didn’t seem to age at all. Especially when they interviewed random people about their opinion on mental illnesses, suicide, depression etc; only a few would not have a misconception about it.I still remember when some would say “It’s a problem that people bring on to themselves”, “They just need to get over it” and “They just do it for attention” and much more. I was finally relieved when each segment came with a true story of someone and their experiences. While watching one artist in his studio a variety of colors of paint onto a large canvas, he said that this was a way of how he dealt with the grief of losing his brother and his close friend. He mentioned that he didn’t know whether it was the “right” way to deal, but he is dealing with it. It made me think about what is the “correct way” to deal with our problems?That thought lead to me thinking that while I was going through many problems, and juggling with losing a lot of friends in grade nine and ten. Mainly, because of misconceptions and stigma, I didn’t know what to do or how to cope. Obviously some coping mechanisms were not healthy, and it didn’t help that those peers where in some of my classes like drama and music. However, while going through therapy, I learned other, even more better ways of coping, such as music, reading and writing. Also, therapy taught me to not surround yourself in an environment that makes you upset. So I would soon change my courses, switching music with another course, but keeping drama which will be in the second semester. Finally in grade eleven, I am content with the new, real friends that I made.Maybe there is no correct way, but as long as it is a healthy coping mechanism, then it can be one of the many ways to deal. Some of us are lucky enough to have a full support system of great friends and family. Some of us aren’t surrounded in a good environment. So whether it is support, creating art or listening to music, as long as it calms you down, then there is no problem of it being the “correct” way. The main message is that even if you are going through a hard time and feel alone, there are ways to get out there, reach out and most of all, there is no “correct” way of dealing with problems… just healthy ways. In other words, screw with what the media says ;P.Written by: Amanda, age 16