MHCC Headstrong Summit - Parkland

So for the past three days I have had the honour of being the opening keynote speaker at MHCC Headstrong Summit. I was also asked to join the afternoon panel to answer questions from the students. It was an incredible week and I got to meet some amazing kids. Being so close in age to the students really helps me to relate to them in ways an adult can't. They are able to see first hand that although I am only 18 I have struggled with and continue to struggle with mental illness, yet here I am just 3 years older then many of them and I have battled my way out of the darkness. One of the instructors said to me "you are thriving with mental illness." I never thought of it that way before but she is right. You can have good mental health with mental illness. One of the days was particularly hard because a student had very recently lost a younger sibling to suicide. It is my job, my responsibility as a speaker, to help not to hurt and there is always the fear that something you say is going to trigger something in someone and cause them pain. So I want to give a huge thanks to the instructors, mental health workers and other volunteers that were there on hand to help those that were affected by my speech. 

I have recently spoken with woman who is with the kids help line and we are going to be partnering up to work together on more of these presentations in the future.

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