This year the Legend Tournament includes a youth component, which will allow local youth the opportunity to connect to mental health advocates and each other in a positive environment, aimed to promote the idea that it’s ok to not be ok, and that reaching out to those around you if you are struggling is the first and most important step.
A portion of the funds raised from the sale of Orion, the South Slope 4H Beef Club’s donor steer, will be utilized by Full Circle to bring this opportunity to local youth. Knowing that 70% of adults with a mental illness, began experiencing symptoms in adolescence; if we can provide education and resources and decrease stigma early with our youth, it is our hope that we can prevent some of the issues down the road.
It is through partnerships like this that we can continue to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. With these partnerships and the inclusion of youth in our community in mind, we wanted to share some bite sized mental health info along with some thoughts from our 4H friends on why they chose mental health as a focus this year.
“Many Canadians confuse the terms mental health and mental illness and use them interchangeably—this confusion contributes to the stigma of mental illness. Did you know that one in five Canadians lives with a mental health problem, mental illness or addiction. But the reality is five in five of us have mental health, just like we have physical health.” (mentalhealthweek.ca)
“ South Slope chose a beneficiary with a mental health focus as the last few years in farming have been tough and farmer’s mental health has become a rising issue. We all have families in the farming industry and it’s important to us because their mental wellness affects us all. The Newell district has felt the heartbreak of mental illness and we found it fitting to put the emphasis on youth mental health as youth are the centre of our program.” ~ K.N., South Slope 4H Beef Club
“A new Report states that mental health problems are reaching crisis proportions in Canada. Farmers, ranchers, and their families are facing high levels of stress, depression, and even suicidal thoughts, the report states.” (bonnyvillenouvelle.ca)
“There’s a lot of myths about it out there and a lot of misconceptions. The more we talk about it and bring it into our everyday conversation, the fear, misinformation, and myths will, hopefully, become dispelled…..We just bite the bullet, suffer in silence, and in extension, our families and communities suffer as well.” ~ G.G., Alberta Beef Producers Zone 8 Director
“Occupations with the highest rates of suicide include (per 100,000)
- Construction workers (53.2)
- Installation, maintenance and repair workers (39.1)
- Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers (32.2)”
“Youth need a good sense of security. Without trust, the likelihood for us to talk to or confide in people is unlikely. More programs like the Legend Youth Wellness Day would be beneficial as it allows a neutral environment for kids to talk, or not talk, while feeling a sense of belonging and security.” ~K.N., South Slope 4H Beef Club
As human beings, we all have mental health. Many of us will be impacted by mental illness in our lifetime, either our own or that of a family member or friend. We also have community. We can come together and show support to one another. We can continue to find opportunities to connect with others. We can break down stigma and openly talk about our struggles. At Full Circle, we will continue to find ways to bring the community together, to build connections and contribute to organizations that impact mental health for all! We are so grateful for the support received from the youth in our community and we are committed to giving that support right back to them!