September 28, 2022

‘It’s nothing to be embarrassed about’: RBC Race For The Kids supporting youth mental health

What originally presented itself through the form of temper tantrums turned into a diagnosis of general anxiety disorder for Maddox at the age of five, and has been something he’s been experiencing his whole life.

Now at 13, Maddox knows what his key identifiers are, a major step with any mental health diagnosis. Maddox’s anxiety presents itself as a fear of doing something wrong, especially surrounding schoolwork, leading Maddox to overthink and check his answers over and over again.

“It’s very, very annoying. It’s like my brain is telling me ‘Are you sure this is correct? Check again!’,” said Maddox.

Growing up with parents who work in the field of mental health, and his sister, Kherington, who is a medically complex child, has allowed Maddox to learn tips and tricks to control his anxiety, but Maddox knows he’s in a very fortunate position. This unfortunately is not the reality for many children in Canada.

“Most kids I’ve talked to say they struggle with mental health issues just like me,” said Maddox.

Maddox knows how important it is to address this at a young age and encourages others to follow his lead.

“Anxiety isn’t all that rare and talking about it makes me feel way less alone,” explained Maddox.

Not every child is willing to talk nor is every parent able to create that conversation. It’s a challenge that families across Canada know all too well but Maddox doesn’t think that should stop kids from getting the help they need and parents from creating the environment their kids need. When asked how, Maddox said, “If your kid won’t talk to you as parents, find someone, anyone that your kid will talk to and then talk to that person.”

Maddox feels lucky to have addressed his mental health struggles early on in life, but he knows that many kids aren’t in the position he’s in. For the kids out there who are struggling and feel alone, Maddox wants everyone to know, “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about because everyone deals with mental health, it’s okay and it’s going to be okay.”

When you register and/or make a donation for RBC Race for the Kids taking place in Saskatchewan on October 15 & 16, 2022, you support kids and families in the province like Maddox, and help kids receive mental health care at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Register and Donate!

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