Teen Talk

01/15/2008
By Heather-Youth Empowerment Project member

Do you suffer from a serious emotional disturbance?

Well if you've been diagnosed with Depression, ADD, ADHD, OCD, or Bipolar Disorder, you do.

Did you know that you are not the only one out there that is suffering from these mental health diagnoses.  There are plenty of other kids out there that have been diagnosed and are receiving the help that they need.  You can receive help too, and all you need to do is reach out and take note of the resources around you, so you can get the help that you deserve. Everyone deserves a chance to live life to the fullest and get the best out of it.

What we do at the Youth Empowerment Project is work with teens that have mental health diagnoses.   At our weekly group, we discuss different ways to cope with our diagnoses and experiences that we all have endured through out life.  As a group we focus on every person's strengths, not their weaknesses.  We also work on peer-to-peer support, social communication skills, and skills that we will need to be successful adults.

As a group we have volunteered in many different ways in our community.  We have a garden located behind the elementary school of BKW where we plant vegetables which we send to the Hilltowns Community Resource Center for families in need.  We also deliver baskets of food for shut-ins around the Holiday season.  Last year we bought Christmas presents for kids that are patients at a mental health facility.  The patients made a list of the things that they wanted or needed.  We went shopping for these kids, but we couldn't get the kids everything they wanted, but they did receive the things that were necessities.

One week out of every month we choose a recreational activity to do during group.  We go to the movies,  bowling, laser tag, and we are looking into other activities that we could do as a group.  Also during the summer we have at least one major outing.  The last two years we have gone to the Great Escape.  We go to trainings and presentations hosted by families and youth who have been through the "system" and are trying to get other youth to stay on the right track.

I can't tell you how helpful it is to talk to others who have been where you are and can help you understand what's going on in your life.

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