Dear friends and supporters,
I am writing to you today on behalf of Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region.
The road to adulthood is a challenging time for most youth. As a teenager, I was no different. However, in addition to trying to navigate this critical time in my life, living with anxiety and depression made the journey feel monumentally challenging.
I felt isolated and alone. What I didn’t know at the time was that I was like so many others. In fact, 70 per cent of mental health concerns do emerge in the early teens.
You may have heard the expression “When you replace ‘I’ with ‘we’, even ‘illness’ becomes ‘wellness’.” With time and the right supports, I did learn how to live with my anxiety, to manage my depression, and to feel confident and optimistic about my future. A huge part of that was connecting with CMHA Calgary a few years ago. The first thing I found was connection, people who genuinely understood what I was going through. Eventually, I was able to take my experience and through a specialized training program became a Peer Support Worker where I now support other youth in finding connection and hope.
One of the pieces of the work I am most excited about, in the work I do at CMHA, is Discovery College; a youth adaptation of Recovery College. Discovery College has been built, imagined and lead by young people; myself and others like me!
At Discovery College, youth between the ages of 16 and 24 find classes which can help them discover – as I did – the meaning and purpose in their journey.
Discovery College provides a relaxed environment where everyone is equal and there are no “rights” or “wrongs”. Here we are part of groups with others who listen without judgment, offer support, and learn what actually works to help us stay healthy and be the best version of who we are meant to be.
The best part of CMHA’s Discovery College is that because of the generous community we are part of, classes are always free of charge. At CMHA it has always been an important part of the organization’s mandate that cost never be a barrier to service.
TO CONTINUE TO DO THIS IMPORTANT WORK WITH CALGARY’S YOUTH, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.
I am asking you today to consider how your donation can help us continue the youth mental health work at CMHA Calgary and our Discovery College.
Together, we all play a part in setting the foundation for a mentally healthy community. Together, we can turn “I” to “we”.