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P2 / Myths & Facts

P4 / Stigma

P5 / Contest

P6/ Resources

Challenging common myths associated with mental health and setting the record straight.

Helping a friend who is struggling with mental health challenges and an experience with stigma.

MTYC announces the winner of the “What is mental health?” contest!

Exploring options and services for youth seeking mental health support.


Green Pickle

A mental health newsletter for youth

My Journey with Depression... It was 2009. I had just started high school and thought I was starting a new chapter of my life: independence, growing older, and spending time with my friends. I did start a new chapter, but it was one filled with depression.

When my depression "started" I had no idea it was there. It started off with a few sad days. I thought it was high school stress and just overall hormones at that age. It slowly progressed to not wanting to go to school... then not wanting to even leave the safety of my bedroom. It got to the point that I didn't want to be happy anymore, I just wanted to swim in my sadness. I would tell people I was sick, and often times the

depression had worn me down to the point of sickness, but I was really just at home, not wanting to leave. Some days I would prepare myself to go to school, but then I would think about having to explain why I was

away for so long, and an anxiety attack would hit. I often thought about if my teachers and fellow students thought I was just a "slacker" or that I wasn't trying on purpose. My mom supported me and tried CONT. ON PAGE TWO>>

“I often thought about if my teachers and fellow students thought I was just a slacker or that I wasn’t trying on purpose.”


My Journey with Depression >> CONT. FROM PAGE ONE

talking to me about it. I remember yelling at her once because I didn't want to talk to anyone and that she wouldn't understand. Depression literally takes over your life. I often felt like I was a failure when I was going through depression: I blamed myself that it was happening. I didn't have the strength to get past it - that made me feel weak. Weakness made me feel like I couldn't achieve anything - that made me feel not good enough. Not good enough made me feel not worth it. Finally, I reached a stage where I just wanted to be happy. I can't describe it as "one day I woke up..." but one day I decided that I did not want to live like that anymore. I was privileged enough to be part of an amazing dramatic arts program that focused a lot on journaling and self-reflection. That's how my journey to recovery started: self-reflection. I got to know

“Spending all that time alone with your thoughts gives you a lot of insight of who you are as a person.” myself. Hey, spending all that time alone with your thoughts gives you a lot of insight of who you are as a person. Day by day I started feeling better. I started talking to new friends. I started feeling a little bit of happiness again. I knew I couldn't look back at where I came from because that progress would be shattered. I started to look toward to


the future and building a better me. I still self-reflect. I reflect every single day. I take a look at myself to see what I can improve, but now it's not because I don't feel good enough, it's because I want to keep strong. My journey of depression is something that will always be a part of me. It's a part of me that makes me the person I am today and I am proud it.


People with mental illness lack intelligence.

Intelligence has nothing to do with mental illnesses. Many people with mental disorders are brilliant, creative, and productive people.

Young people just go through ups and downs as part of puberty- it’s nothing.

Parents naturally want their children to do well, so some may brush off any difficulties as being mere growing pains. However, 1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health

People experiencing mental health problems tend to be violent or dangerous.

This is not true; in fact people who are experiencing mental health problems are statistically more likely to be a victim of violence.

It’s easy for young people to talk about their feelings.

Nearly 3 in 4 young people fear the reactions of their friends when they talk about their mental health

Did you know?  One in five people will experience a mental health problem in a given year.  As few as one in four youth who experience a mental health problem seek appropriate treatment.

Helping out a friend... It can be scary when someone you love is sick. It’s hard to see someone you love in pain and it’s confusing when someone you know well is not acting like themselves. You may not be able to see the illness, but it doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to help.

 Be there by spending time with or hanging out with your friend.  Give them time to just talk.  Listen without judging.  Ask them what they can do for themselves to relieve the sadness or pain (e.g. physical activity, arts & crafts, etc.). Find out what works for them and do it with them.  Help them find resources or professional support. Help them make the call.  Go with them to an appointment.  Find a way to share some humour. Watch a funny movie together. Introduce them to your favourite funny show. Laughing 'til you cry is a great stress reliever!  Get informed: go online, take out books, join a support group, attend community info sessions, talk to others.

 Up to 70% of young adults living with mental health issues report that symptoms started in adolescence.  Half of all mental health problems in adulthood begin by age 14.  Mental health problems are caused by a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors.  Only one out of five children who need mental health services will receive them.  Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of the people who are affected.  Stigma attached to mental health problems is a significant barrier to individuals seeking help.

For more tips like this, visit 3


Facing the Four years is how long I hid my anxiety and depression from the world. Four years of feeling like my chest was going to cave in, not wanting to get out of bed, second-guessing everything I said or did… Four years of feeling like I had no voice, and no control. I spent years thinking I was weird, different, and alone. At times I felt like I had things under control so I would attempt to go out with my friends, or get involved in something, and like an ocean wave, anxiety or depression would take over and suddenly I wanted to crawl back into my bed. It felt like there was rarely ever a happy medium. I either felt nothing and did nothing, or I felt everything and still wanted to do nothing.

Why did I wait so long to talk about my mental health? As the years went by, and mental health awareness became more popular… so did the stigma. I was afraid of the labels that came along with anxiety and depression diagnoses, so I was afraid to speak up. I didn’t realise that if I spoke up I wouldn’t just be helping myself, but I could also be helping someone else... Someone else who was afraid to speak up, someone else who felt they were alone. After four years of feeling ashamed of something I couldn’t control, I finally spoke up.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of. The more I spoke up, the more I started to realise how common mental

illnesses really were. Chances are, someone you know suffers from a mental illness. You are not alone. If you, or someone you know suffers from a mental illness, speak up. Talk to your friends and family, use your voice. If you know someone suffering from a mental illness, something as simple as asking “how are you” could brighten his or her day. Every small bit helps. Mental illness can affect anyone at any time in their lives for many different reasons, some for no reason at all. You should never feel like you need to suffer in silence, or feel like you are alone. You have a voice, and you have the power to end the stigma. -Conner Garrett

Help Challenge Mental Health Stigma 1. Educate yourself about mental illness. Having the facts can help you challenge the misinformation that leads to stigma. 2. Challenge media stereotypes. 3. Be aware of words. Don't reduce people to a diagnosis. 4. Support those with mental health issues. 5.

Share your story. If you or someone in your family has had a mental illness, speak up about it. Your example could help someone else. For more information, please visit

What is Mental Health?

Watch the film:

I NEED HELP. What are my options? COUNSELLING: One on one support with a counsellor over an extended period of time. WALK-IN CLINICS: Walk-in counselling session (typically 1hour) and possible referral. SUPPORT GROUPS: Facilitated group support for individuals with shared experiences. Groups are conducted n person or on an online forum. PEER SUPPORT: Peer support offers a unique platform where individuals with shared lived experiences provide support to one another. SUPPORT LINE: Free, confidential, emotional support provided by volunteers or trained counsellors.




Where can I get help? Everyone is different when it comes to how, when and in what way they would like to receive help. It is important to keep an open mind and choose the option that you feel best suits you!



40 Orchard View Blvd. T: 416-482-0081 E: W: Ages 13-21 years

65 Wellesley St East T: 416-924-2100 E: W: Ages 12-18years



747 Warden Ave T: 416-973-1773 E: W: Ages 12-21years Hours: Wednesdays 128pm

65 Wellesley St. East, T: 416-395-0660 E: W: Ages 18 and under Hours: Mon & Thurs 26pm, Tues 10am-2pm, Wed 12-8pm, Fri 9am-2pm



GOOD TO TALK T: 1-866-925-5454

CMHA T: 1-866-531-2600




36 Eglinton Avenue West T: 416-486-8046 E: W:

87 Spadina Road T: 416-927-8900 E: W:



W: www.torontodistressce Hours: 2pm-2am *ONLINE*

T: 416 694-3754 W: E: *ONLINE*

If you or someone you love is in a crisis situation and requires urgent help, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital.

How much do you know about mental health?



1. Failure to get treatment for mental illness can hurt these between people

1. Ability to recover; bounce back; buoyancy

2. Conscious refusal to take something seriously

3. Distress or uneasiness of the mind

3. The way you sense or view something 4. Feeling good about oneself 5. #Campaign by a media company in Canada to raise awareness about mental health 6. Acting in accordance to one’s values; adhering to moral and ethical principles

2. Favorable impression of oneself; self-respect 4. Irrational or unreasonable fear of something 5. Affect disorder involving long-lasting, intense sadness 6. Negative attitudes about people with mental health problems 7. A strategy known to increase endorphins and improve mood 8. Stand with; uphold; assist or provide for

Across: 1. Relationships, 2. Denial, 3. Perception, 4. Confident, 5. Bellletstalk, 6. Integrity. Down: 1. Resilience, 2. Self-esteem, 3. Anxiety, 4. Phobia, 5. Depression, 6. Stigma, 7. Exercise, 8. Support. 7

ABOUT US The Midtown Toronto Youth Council (MTYC) is an initiative of People & Organizations in North Toronto (POINT). It is the

200 Eglinton Ave. West Toronto, ON, M4R1A7 P: 416-487-2390 E: W:

mission of the MTYC to motivate young people to take a proactive role in their community. Through identifying priority areas for improvement, the unmet needs of youth and the gaps in services serving youth, MTYC will ensure that the voice of young people in Midtown Toronto is heard. In achieving this, council members will develop stronger bonds with each other, service agencies and other stakeholders of the community. MTYC will

POINT.NorthToronto POINT_Toronto

further unite the community of North Toronto by strengthening connections to the vast potential of its youth. For more information about MTYC, please email

The Green Pickle  

A mental health newsletter for youth.

The Green Pickle  

A mental health newsletter for youth.