(Pixabay)

EDITORIAL: Sooke School District deserves credit for facing mental health challenges

Acceptance and caring are key to addressing the issue

Kids grow up quickly and, in the blink of an eye, they seem to go from giggling toddlers for whom laughter seems second nature to sometimes moody teenagers who appear to have adopted eye-rolling as a default expression.

It can drive parents and educators to distraction but it’s tolerated because we know it’s a normal part of growing up. We can see flashes of the next generation of mature adults peeking through the curtain of their current sense of disdain and superiority and, on the most part, they are a pretty fantastic group.

But for some, the sullen periods of self-imposed isolation, the sudden behaviour changes, or any of a myriad of other warning signs should be cause for closer examination and concern.

The truth is that it’s hard for a young person to acknowledge that something is seriously wrong – it’s hard for all of us. And for parents. it can be terrifying to think that the energetic toddler you adored has, in their adolescence, developed some serious problems and now needs some help.

But it’s important to do away with that mindset and recognize that mental illnesses are common in society and that youth are not immune.

Canadian statistics indicate that about one-in-seven young people will experience some form of mental illness. Unaddressed, the young people with those conditions risk suffering the long term consequences of their illness – consequences that can impact their whole lives.

As well, given that youth are among the highest risk populations in Canada for suicide (it’s the second leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages 10 to 24), we ignore and stigmatize the issue of youth mental health at our peril.

The Sooke school district deserves full credit for recognizing and addressing the difficult challenges associated with mental health. The resources they’ve dedicated to the issue and the attitudes of acceptance and caring they’ve demonstrated to the students in their charge have been more than impressive.

Now, as a community, it’s our turn to do our part.

It’s our attitudes toward people with mental illness that will determine the way those who are suffering from a variety of challenges in their lives feel about their condition. It may spell the difference between coming forward to seek help or suffering in silence.

Just Posted

Researchers say ‘text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millenials’ skulls

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

UVic microbiology student chosen for 2019 Amgen Scholars Canada Program

Dushanthi Dissanayake and 14 other Canadian students head to Toronto for mentorship, research

Esquimalt hosts many highlights for everyone

Some of the Esquimalt’s newest additions and classic favourites for Township visitors to see

Peninsula literary aims to create book worms with open air library

Open a book in the open air on selected Tuesdays this summer

Retiring Oak Bay geriatrics doctor shares his philosophy

‘People are unacquainted with death,’ Dr. David Brook said

WATCH: Thousands gather for National Indigenous Peoples Day at Royal Roads University

Day to embrace and celebrate culture and lives of Indigenous peoples

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read