Roen has had first hand experience with mental health issues from the beginning. Starting at a young age, her mother’s mental health led her to move from home to home, from family to foster care.

“I witnessed other family members and later on my students struggle with mental health where it impacted their daily lives. They couldn’t function, quit school or were even hospitalized. Others lost the battle to the mind and I always wonder, what if they just needed someone to be there in the way they needed?”

Having struggled herself with anxiety and depression, Roen has felt like no one could have been able to understand her panic attacks and anxious thoughts. Thankfully, she fought and conquered her mental health issues with various tools. When moving her body and venting didn’t work, her faith, journaling and her support system helped her stay afloat. Today, she lets her loved ones know that she is always there, supporting them in their good and not so good seasons.

Jack.org is a Canadian organization focused on youth mental health that offers training across the country. They teach young people, among other things, how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health distress and how to seek help if needed. We encourage you to complete their Be There Certificate, a very helpful course on how to support someone struggling with their mental health.

Being there and offering your support is the best thing you can do for your loved ones who struggle with their mental health. If you are going through difficult times yourself, just know that you are never alone and should never be ashamed to reach out for help.

“Whatever it is, do not dismiss it or minimize what you’re going through. You are valuable and there is help to get you back on track. Reach out!”