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A Life Bipolar

Resources for mental health disorders

Mental illness tends to run in families. As if being a parent wasn’t hard enough already, or being a teen wasn’t hard enough already, each dealing with one’s own mental health issues can make it that much harder. Luckily we live in a country where there are a great many resources available for parents and teens alike.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Kelowna Branch, 1 in 7 young people in BC will have some form of mental disorder at any given time. An even more sobering statistic, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds. It often takes a team of individuals to help these youth. Sometimes it might start with a call to a crisis line (1-888-353-2273) or a visit to the school counselor. A family doctor may be another resource with a referral to a psychologist or a child psychiatrist. Child and Youth Mental Health offers counseling and programs for teens and parents (250-861-7301). There is also the hospital for emergencies and the adolescent psychiatric unit at the hospital for teens needing a little more long-term care.

The main thing is to seek out the care you need and don’t stop looking until you find it. Your teen is worth it and so are you. There is no shame in needing help and sometimes we cannot do it alone. Many of the services are free or are offered at a sliding scale based on income. A safety plan is a tool counsellors often use to help teens cope with stresses as well. The plan offers constructive solutions to dealing with stresses in everyday life to help make it more manageable. These are ideas the teen has helped to formulate themselves so they are doable for them. It’s just one more resource to make their life better. Knowing there are others on board or on their side can be a great help as well, for you and for them.



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