Ad­dress men­tal health is­sues

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

I MET a young man a few years ago, a stu­dent at the time, who had started to turn his life around and was en­joy­ing and at­tend­ing school reg­u­larly.

On the out­side, he was a healthy teenager who just had some trou­ble en­gag­ing at school, I didn’t recog­nise the pain he was start­ing to suf­fer.

This young per­son moved away from our ser­vices at Youth Off The Streets and to an­other city. Grad­u­ally he be­came over­whelmed by an in­tense in­ter­nal trauma, he fell into abus­ing al­co­hol and com­mit­ted sui­cide one night when he was drunk.

I at­tended this young man’s fu­neral soon af­ter he died and heard the most gut-wrench­ing story from the fa­ther’s part­ner: the boy had also lost three of his broth­ers to sui­cide.

Oc­to­ber is Men­tal Health Month and this year we are asked to share the jour­ney for bet­ter men­tal health and well­be­ing.

What I want to share with you is one of the rea­sons I think we should take men­tal health so se­ri­ously.

Th­ese days men­tal health is­sues are far too com­mon, par­tic­u­larly in young peo­ple. Is­sues of anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion, schizophre­nia and many more plague some of our most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple.

Sadly not enough peo­ple get help with th­ese is­sues which of­ten ex­tend from some form of abuse, and those that don’t get help ad­dress­ing their health of­ten go on to suf­fer from fur­ther dis­ad­van­tage, a life of crime or spi­ral down­wards into al­co­hol and other drug abuse.

It can be easy to tell when some­one is not phys­i­cally healthy and it can be easy to miss signs that some­one you care about is strug­gling, but we need to take those ex­tra steps to help our friends, fam­ily, col­leagues and any­one else in your life.

— Fa­ther Chris Ri­ley CEO and Founder at Youth

Off The Streets

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