Tag Archives: depression

Issue: Mental Health & Youth

MentalHealthWe know the amount of care required by serious mental health concerns is too heavy to manage alone. Working together is better.  Helping teens with mental health challenges requires the creation of or connection to a network of support for the teen.

View and download the Helpsheet HERE.

Click HERE to watch a video about Mental Health 101.

Click HERE to watch a video about walking alongside youth who struggle with mental health.

Issue: Self Injury


There are many different reasons for youth to self-harm. If they feel numb, they can self- harm to feel alive. If they are angry, they can self harm to punish someone else. It can take many different forms – anything from cutting to unsafe sex. The most common reason people start self-harming is to reduce emotional distress. And in the immediate, it works. That’s why self-harm is so addicting.

View and download the Helpsheet HERE.

Click HERE to watch an accompanying training video!

Further recommended  reading: “Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut” by Marv Penner, and  “Healing the Hurt Within ”  by J. Hope Sutton

WARNING: We don’t recommend kids going onto online forums and talking about self-harm. In our experience it seems to trigger the urge to self harm, teach them, increase their options of how to do it, and how to keep it secret longer. Having said that there are many online forums for kids to get plugged into. If a young person is involved in online forums anyway, it’s important that they plug into a positive forum focused on health and help.    www.recoveryourlife.com provides some less negative and more healthy online exchanges.

link: Anxiety


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www.anxietybc.com – A website providing excellent practical resources for helping youth deal with anxiety, and helping youth workers and parents understand this overwhelming issue that is seriously affecting up to 20% of young people in Canada. Check out Mindshift – the new free app to help youth manage their anxiety in the moment, wherever they are.  We’ve tested it with youth and are hearing good feedback on this tool.

And for the youth themselves, link them up to Kids Help Phone panic and anxiety page. It’s got some good info and great practical tips to help kids deal with what’s going on inside them as well.

Walking with a Youth that Struggles with Depression (2:26min)


how to walkMark Stromenberg- Community Youth Worker with Cambridge Youth Unlimited– gives excellent insight into how to walk alongside a youth who is struggling with depression.

Click the picture to watch the 3 min video. Continue reading Walking with a Youth that Struggles with Depression (2:26min)

Issue: Suicide

Suicide only becomes an option when the person feels that there is no other out, no other escape. Suicide can be seen as the person’s only way to escape their deep emotional pain. Often a suicidal person will be depressed and will have tried to manage their pain with self-harm or other methods first. When those methods no longer work, suicide can become the next choice. How do we as youth workers respond?

View and download the Helpsheet HERE.

Recommended reading: “Helping Your Friends To Live” by Jerry Johnston, D.Min; “What Do I Do When Teenagers Are Depressed And Contemplate Suicide?” by Dr. Steve Gerali

Link: Self-Harm

There are a number of solid resources to help us get a better understanding of the minds and hearts of teens who self-harm, and how we can help.

Here are a few:

To Write Love on Her Arms – The story and intent behind this movement makes it a good place to start. Their blogs on self harm are not focused on treatment but on inspiration and understanding of those who are in this battle.

Cycle of Self-harm – An excellent diagram explain the cycle that many who self-injure find themselves in over and over again. Taken from  Healing the Hurt Within: Understand Self-injury and Self-harm, and Heal the Emotional Wounds , and great resource to help the youth worker know where to start.

Helpguide – These pages offer a short yet comprehensive overview that looks at questions like “why does it work” and “what can I do?”  It also includes myths, warning signs, and helpful links.


Continue reading Link: Self-Harm

Link: Aboriginal Youth Support

Honouring Life Network: Aboriginal youth suicide prevention website.

This website has a number of useful and informative resources. There a videos about supporting those affected by suicide or struggling with suicidal thoughts as well as youth talking about how to prevent suicide and honour life. There are numerous ideas for Aboriginal youth and those working with Aboriginal youth. Continue reading Link: Aboriginal Youth Support

Issue: Teens in Grief


We often don’t recognize grief for what it is. Grief can be about more than death–it’s about loss, or even perceived loss.  Teens working through grief need your time–and your care.

View and download the Helpsheet HERE.

Continue reading Issue: Teens in Grief