6 Reasons We Should All Be Advocates For Children's Mental Health
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Health and Wellness

I'm The Biggest Advocate For Children's Mental Health Because I'm That Kid Who REALLY Needed It

Every child needs to learn the importance of self-care and mental health in order to live a happy life.

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I'm The Biggest Advocate For Children's Mental Health Because I'm That Kid Who REALLY Needed It

I never knew about mental health until I was a freshman in college. By then, it was too late because with all of the trauma I went through as a child, from my parent's divorce to losing my grandfather, my mental health had declined so bad that I thought "self-care" was sleeping and eating my problems away. I believed in, "I really want this cupcake because it's been a long week and I deserve it," instead of saying, "It's been a long week, l need to find a book to read or go outside and ride my bike." There were so many alternatives that would have made me have a healthier lifestyle as a child and into my teenage and adolescent years.

The trauma I ensued as a child is the main reason I am the biggest mental health advocate for children.

1. I felt out of place

I never fit into a single clique, but I also felt out of place with people I hung out with. When I was younger, I felt like the "weird" kid because I thought differently. I think outside the box, I always use my head, and I follow the rules. Many people didn't like that about me and I know there are other kids who feel like I felt.

2. I felt alone and like I had nobody to talk to

When I was younger, I would hide my feelings expeditiously. I don't want kids to feel like they have nobody to talk to or they'll be judged if they express themselves. There is courage in being vulnerable and I wish I knew that growing up.

3.I didn't know how to handle the tougher parts of life

I'm currently going through a rough patch and it's because of my lack of mental health awareness in my childhood. If I had known a little about how to deal with stress back then, I would be in a better headspace now.

4. I felt pressured to please people instead of myself

I grew up a people-pleaser instead of a self-pleaser, which only turned me down a bad path as far as mental health goes. I was too concerned about what others and my family would think instead of how I felt and it resulted in my brief stint of starvation to be this perfect person. I don't want other kids to feel like they have to change who they are to make others happy.

5. I want the next generation to be happier than mine

I feel like my generation is fairly happy, but growing up, we weren't. Many kids I grew up with endued some type of trauma and it's down nothing but put them on a bad road, so if I can help at-risk children from going down a dark path, then I will have made a difference in someone's life.

6. I refused to believe therapy helped

I believed therapy was for "crazy" people — I didn't know that therapy was the best form of mental health awareness until I experienced my own childhood trauma with my parent's ugly divorce and I've been going to therapy ever since and it's been eight years since they've split. I believe that if children can't afford to go to therapy, then mental health advocates should step in and be their therapists because you never know what a child is going through.

Life is not easy and nobody is perfect, but if more people prioritized children's mental health, it will change how society is because these kids are our future like we were our parents' and grandparents' future.

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