Our View: Stigma stymies youth

We like to think of childhood and youth as a carefree time when concerns are about scraped knees or first kisses, homework or what to wear for grad.

But the Norman Rockwell mythology of childhood and youth doesn’t jibe with the reality. (See page A9 for a young person’s insights on mental illness and how it impacts every facet of her life and decision making.) So what’s a young person to do when he or she has a mental illness?

If someone has an injury or illness, society accepts that they need help and should have help.

But our mind-over-matter culture expects people to ‘get over it’, particularly young people because of attitudes like ‘they’ve got it easy. They don’t know how tough life really is.’

Young people locally have said they feel alienated from their community because they must leave to access help.

That’s some of the feedback gathered by the Langley Local Action Team, a local group of doctors, nurses, other health professionals, government agencies, emergency services, social agencies, community groups, young people, and family representatives.

Its mandate is specifically to improve local access to youth mental health issues and substance abuse issues, which go hand in hand.

The team started by trying to increase resources for mental health treatment. But the biggest challenge for the team is tackling the social stigma around mental illness.

That stigma stops adults from getting help so it’s only natural that young people could be even more reticient to come forward. Who wants that label slapped on them?

Change starts with acknowledging that mental illness is just that – illness.

– H.C.

 

 

Just Posted

2018 Aldergrove Fair photo gallery

Good times from pony rides and petting zoo to free MainStage concerts

Letter: Save the little forested area in Murrayville

A Langley letter writer is concerned development will mean the loss of greenspace.

54-40 thrills Aldergrove Fair crowd: VIDEO

54-40 were joined on stage by the band members’ dancing children, the “Aldergrove Rockettes”

Man arrested in Maple Ridge in connection with Victoria-area murder

Daniel Creagh faces second-degree murder charge in death of Joseph Gauthier

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Trio overcomes adversity at the BC Games

Zone 4 girl’s 3x3 basketball team fought through injuries and conflicting schedules

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Most Read