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As a Kid I’m Scared

As a kid, I’m scared.

I’m scared I’m going to go to school and not come home.

I’m scared the environment is going to heck and evenscared kid

scared that in a few years, there will be

no safe places for abortions,

or getting birth control,

or being counted as a felon if I miscarry.

It’s really infuriating to feel hopeless and to feel like nothing can be changed or will change, and even if it could, we’re just kids, so what the hell can we do?

Actually, we can do a lot! Yeah, it won’t be easy, and sometimes, you get horrible reactions from adults who totally ignore you, but in my experience, most people are more than willing to listen, you just have to put a little work into finding those people.teens for change
For me, speaking out was the way I started working towards some semblance of recovery, but now, speaking out is more than that, it’s necessary. Teen voices need to be heard, they deserve to because we’re all valid and it doesn’t matter that we’re young, we know more than they could ever know. I, for one, am tired of remaining silent, and if you are too, here are some ways to get involved and make a difference.

  1. Project We Care Colorado – Shameless self-marketing, Project We Care Colorado is a youth-led youth-driven statewide organization focused on educating and advocating for mental health, decreasing stigma and making resources available and affordable for everyone in need. We’ve got journalism opportunities, mental health resources, have worked closely with legislators (House Bill 1120 passed!) and have plenty of ways to get you involved!Project We Care Colorado
  2. Your local school district wellness committee – This one’s a great one. I’m not sure if every school district does this, but for Eagle County School District our school board started this committee with different community members to create a comprehensive plan for bettering the schools! Groups like these are awesome, but usually lack and desperately need youth voices, so get involved! Start by emailing your superintendent if you have any questions or concerns, they’re usually super responsive and helpful.Stand Up to Stigma
  3. March For Our Lives – Most of you know this one, it’s a favorite of mine, and I have a few sweatshirts of theirs! March For Our Lives is a national campaign whose mission is to harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives. You can create your own chapter or join another one, but it’s a wonderful program.
    March for Our Lives
  4. Why We Rise – Why We Rise is part of a national movement to transform the mental health care system. We demand that easy access to quality care be recognized as a civil right. Everyone deserves to be well. This is a super cool organization that has a bunch of ways to get involved, definitely recommend.
    Why We Rise
  5. Different Mental Health Trainings – Try Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Mental Health First Aid, and Question Persuade Refer trainings. Ask around your community for different openings for these trainings because they’re fairly infrequent, but reach out to Mollie Fiore from Speak Up Reach Out to find more information and bring these trainings to your town!

Speak Up Reach Out

Most of these are mental health based, but there are so many different opportunities out there waiting for you, and if you can’t find any you like – make your own! None of what I’m suggesting is simple or mindless. It requires lots of hard work, but I promise you, it’s gonna be worth it.

My goal is to be who I want to be now, and it’s helped me out more than I can explain. Going against the flow is terrifying and intimidating, but if you’re going to do it, go big or home. One way or another you’ve tried and made an impact, and that’s truly all that matters.
If you need any help let me know! I’d love to bounce ideas off of each other, and I think I’m a fairly good resource bank. Take your pills, stay hydrated, eat some food, take good care of yourself physically emotionally and mentally.

 

Support Yourself & Make Good Decisions

Teen Mental Health

Go look up mental health memes that help you support yourself. Just do it. Now look up sexual health memes. They’re both pretty fantastic, because memes are honestly

one of the best things that have ever graced this earth.

Now before you get totally lost scrolling to support yourself through these memes (as I literally just did), I’ve got a few things to say.making bad decisions doesn't support yourself

  1. Teen mental health controls every single aspect of our lives.
  2. If you’re generally stable for the time being, you’re most likely going to make decisions that are aimed at supporting yourself.
  3. However, when you’re depressed, you tend to get careless; especially with big decisions like sex.

With mental illness, it’s hard to care, because it may seem like

there’s no point, that

you’re not worth taking care of yourself, or anything of the sorts.

Everyone has different coping coping mechanisms to support yourselfmechanisms, but one that I’ve mainly come across has been teens using sex and intimacy to fill the emptiness mental illness creates.

Well, if you haven’t realized this already, that can be extremely damaging not only to your psyche, but also to you physically,

with unwanted pregnancy, STI’s,

and just generally can mess with your self worth

once you come out of your depressive episode.

Besides the obvious “make sure to use protection no matter what,” what should we, as teenagers, do when we absolutely feel like shit?Feeling like shit isn't good mental health

Staying on the mental health side of things, I know that there

aren’t enough resources to help everyone who needs it, and that

the extent of places to get help is way less than it needs to be, but I also know that

there are things you can do in order to keep yourself from jumping off the ledge,

jumping off the ledge isn't a step to recovery

both physically and metaphorically.

Try to find things to keep you busy;

volunteering

sports

anything and everything

to help you move

away from a negative state of mind.

Steps Towards Recovery

And although this won’t ‘cure’ you, it can help you make steps towards recovery and help you avoid negative decisions and dangerous coping mechanisms that can harm your entire being.

Garfield County PREP has an amazing summer intern program – so I’ve been told, I actually live in Eagle – that is perfect for just this, or you can become involved in Project We Care Colorado, a state wide completely teen-led organization set on educating and advocating for mental health and decreasing stigma.

Project We Care Colorado teen mental healthOur board is composed mainly of teens who are on their road to recovery after extreme mental illness, and we are dedicated to making a change in our mental health landscape.

 

Be safe kids.

Making Smart Choices towards mental health

Wear a helmet

(and a condom).

Make smart choices and remember:

Even if things seem pointless right now, try to act like you care, so when you actually do, you haven’t completely gone off track from getting the wonderful life you want and deserve.

Take Care Good DecisionsTake your pills,

stay hydrated,

eat some food,

take good care of yourself

physically

emotionally

and mentally.

Project We Care Colorado

Teen Suicide

Teen Thinking SuicideTeen suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death (SpeakUp ReachOut), and yet, suicide is now the leading cause of death in teens in Colorado.

It’s messed up.

We shouldn’t be spending our teenage years thinking about death.

Something needs to be done.

I’ve seen mental illness completely destroy my friend’s life and my own; fromComforting Friends

pulling someone off of a bridge to

pleading with others on the phone at 2 am to not kill themselves, to

rocking back and forth on the bathroom floor repeating “I want to die.”

I’ve run out in the middle of class to hug my crying friends and

sat in a corner holding my friend’s hands as they shook and broke down.

I’ve had people tell me I ruined their lives by telling an adult about their mental illnesses, but I’ve also seen the way that eventually their real smiles come back.

Project We Care Colorado

My name is Saphira Klearman, I’m 15, a current sophomore, and the founder and Co-CEO of Project We Care Colorado, a teen suicide initiative.

reach out happinessI’ve always had this drive to do something meaningful, to

prove to myself that I was worth something, that

I could leave knowing that I had made an impact.

When I was suicidal, the only thing keeping me from actually attempting was that I knew I hadn’t done that yet.

But when I started being involved,Get involved

started reaching out and

trying to make a difference,

it helped me forge my way to recovery and to a place where I was actually happy.

I created Project We Care Colorado, a teen-led and teen-driven organization focused on educating and advocating for mental illness,

decreasing stigma, and

making it possible for anyone in need to recover.

We want to do this by making resources more available and affordable to everyone in need.

mini projectsProject We Care Colorado is divided into a few mini projects:

the Panic Button Initiative

We Were Left Behind: A Documentary,

and just generally changing policy.

Mandatory Mental Health Crisis Training

At the moment we’re introducing mandatory mental health crisis training for all school staff throughout the Eagle County School District, and working on a bill with Dylan Roberts and Dafna Michaelson Jenet to integrate mental health training into health classes state-wide. We are also creating an online educational resource that’s essentially a how-to with mental illnesses, based off of the idea that we as teenagers, and everyone for that matter, don’t have the ability or the knowledge on how to handle these types of situations. And a little help is always helpful when it’s your own life or your friend’s in your hands.

We Were Left Behind: A Documentary

Lost in the ShadowsAs of June 2019, we’re going to start production of our documentary, which features the parents and friends of youth who have taken their own lives. We want to show everyone the impact that they have on the people around them, and that their lives matter. Keeping with this theme of sharing stories, Project We Care started and is still currently based off of our Instagram account – wecare_colorado, which is a completely safe place for anyone to share their stories with mental illness. We post these “testimonies” anonymously, in hope that those who feel isolated will start to realize that they’re not suffering alone.

So what can you do? Get in contact with me, either through the project’s email (projectwecarecolorado@gmail.com) or my personal; saphiraklear@gmail.com. We’re always looking for more people to be involved, to help as little or as much as you’re able. Every little bit helps.

Remember, even if things seem pointless right now, try to act as if you care, so when you actually do, you haven’t completely gone off track from getting the wonderful life you want and deserve.

 

healthy foodTake your pills

stay hydrated

eat some food

take good care of yourself

physically, emotionally and mentally.