Special week reminds of challenges for young people

Tri-County Mental Health Services has several activities planned during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4 through 10. “This national effort is a great opportunity to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with children’s mental illness,” explained Child and Youth Services Manager Lori Wheelhouse. “It truly does take a village to create growth, renewal and to promote positive mental health that will impact the well-being of our children.” Tri-County and mental health supporters nationally are encouraging everyone to share their stories, struggles, successes and resources to better support our families impacted by childhood mental illness. Some recent comments by young people who are involved in Tri-County’s Champions Club illustrated just that. The club meets daily at a Northland location and provides social and emotional skill building for young people: “It may be hard, but I will make it through,” a young teen noted. “No matter what is thrown at me, I will make it through. Try to push me down and I’ll come right back up! I am strong and nothing can make me weak. I will stay at the top the top and be strong.” One of the case managers said the experiences are equally moving for her. “Things I love about working with our kids: Smiles (often with missing teeth); Free hugs; Laughter (nothing like that sound of pure happiness from a child); Learning from THEM; The energy! It keeps us young forever.” As part of the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Tri-County is also announcing the date of its third annual Heart and Sole 5K for Oct. 11. Funds raised by the run/walk help provide services for young people and families in need. For more information, visit www.tri-countyheartandsole5k.org.

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