August 18, 2021

RBC Race For The Kids Supports Youth Mental Health With Every Step You Take

Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation is proud to support the RBC Race for the Kids taking place in Saskatchewan to step forward for youth mental health.

Registration is now open for the global, virtual race weekend on October 16th & 17th, 2021, with training mode via a mobile-friendly app currently activated to get you moving for a very important cause. Sign up today!

When you pledge to participate in a run or walk from now and over the event weekend, you will help fund the Saskatchewan Tele-Help therapy program, through Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation, providing virtual evidence-based care while kids and youth like Madeline are on the waitlist for mental health services.

Madeline is 15 years old. She loves hanging out with friends and listening to music, particularly the band, Wallows.

This fall she’s looking forward to starting grade 11, but her first year of high school was rocky. The pressures of social life and the stress of falling behind in school were mounting. She tried to hide it, but it all became too much for her to handle. That’s when she felt she reached her breaking point.

“It felt like the glass underneath me shattering,” Madeline explained.

In January 2020, it led her to the point of attempting suicide. Her mom, Samantha, rushed her to the emergency room in the early hours of the morning, but the resources were not in place to provide her with the treatment she needed.

“When we went to the hospital, I just remember I couldn’t focus on anything. My mind was feeling numb. It was really overwhelming,” explained Madeline. “I don’t want anyone to feel the type of pain I felt that night. It felt so draining. I felt so much pain all over my body and into my chest.”

The next day, Madeline saw a mental health intake professional to make an at-home plan, but she said didn’t find much comfort in the experience. Madeline has since found a great source of support from a counselor who works in suicide bereavement, while she waits to see a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Madeline also found support in close friends, family, and different types of coping skills.

“After my experience, it was eye-opening and I started to understand my mental health more. Now I know more about how things affect me, what I was going through at that time, and overall I’m feeling a lot better now,” Madeline said.

Mental health challenges are not something new for Madeline’s family. Her maternal grandmother struggled with bipolar and drug addiction for years, before taking her own life in 2014. The Saskatoon family hopes that by sharing their story it will continue the conversation around mental health and help to end the stigma.

“Because of the stigma, my mom would never say that she had a problem, but having the ability to talk about it is so important. Maybe if my mom would have talked about it she would still be here today,” said Samantha. “Madeline was only seven when my mom died, and that loss is permanent. It’s so important to talk about it because that pattern needs to stop.”

Register now for RBC Race for the Kids to support Saskatchewan families like Madeline and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis or thinking about suicide, call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1.833.456.4566 or Kids Help Phone at 1.800.668.6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.  If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital.

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