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Young Health Program launch by Erin

I wasn’t feeling quite like myself due to a bad psychiatry appointment that morning but as usual, as soon as I was given a job to do that required me to look confident I began to feel more confident. It was interesting to meet people as they came through the door, making small talk and then later realizing that they were one of the major speakers that evening.

My favourite speaker was Dr. Bruce Ferguson. The perspective he shared really made me trust that he knows how to work with youth from experience, not from reading a book or saying what he thinks he is supposed to say. This line of his moved me enough for me to tweet it the moment I heard it: “”Young people run on hope the way cars run on gas.”

All the speakers of the evening were great, however, and the underlying message was also hopeful. The “Young Health Program” is a partnership of AstraZeneca with mindyourmind, Boys and Girls Club of Canada (apparently their site is down right now) and Physical & Health Education Canada. While those names might blur together to those of us that aren’t one hundred percent familiar with each partner, it does mean that these separate entities are working together for youth. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this partnership.

Last night I felt a little sad once all the speakers were finished. Food was passed around and people mingled and my confidence deflated. I busied myself with making art postcards for the evening, answering “Mental wellness is…” and “Just one person can” in pictures and words to be stuck on the windows of the mindyourmind office.

I think my sadness stemmed from acknowledging that I’ve aged out of  most services for youth. I wish there were more concrete plans out there to help those of us who have received initial diagnostic help but still aren’t well. I want to see more services available for ongoing treatment, more professionals saying, “Yes, even though you’ve been ill for ten years there is still hope.” At least for now, being a part of things like the launch of the Young Health Program helps to reignite my hope that there are people in the community that care. People are trying hard to fill the holes in our mental health system. Every day we get a little bit closer.