Mindcheck

If you’re a hockey fan and follow the Canucks’ press, you may have heard some coverage in the past few weeks about a great new resource helping raise mental health awareness among young people.

Mindcheck is an excellent website with information and links to resources helping young people identify and understand mental distress and substance abuse.

Although it has been operating since 2010, it got a high profile boost a couple of weeks ago when the Canucks for Kids Fund donated $50,000 and participated in a re-launch of the site.

The Canucks’ involvement is in memory of player Rick Rypien who had a long struggle with depression before committing suicide last August. Now his team wants to help do away with stigma that causes many to fear talking about mental health issues.

Mindcheck is an inviting site created as an early intervention tool by Fraser Health. Young people can read about common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and substance use.

The site focuses on helping people recognize symptoms early and find the help they need to deal with them so they can continue to function and enjoy life.

I have written many times in the past about the chronic, life-long course of many mental health issues. Very often, conditions begin in adolescence and young adulthood and worsen over time. The earlier a problem is identified and managed, the more likely a successful outcome.

Even though the need for early intervention is well documented and understood by medical professionals, there are still many people who do not feel comfortable talking about mental health problems. Many fear the reaction of others. As a result, people often wait years before seeking help for issues such as depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, this only prolongs suffering.

Not only does Mindcheck have excellent resources and support information, but there is a page on the site where friends and family can voice support in solidarity with those battling through these difficult experiences. Rick Rypien’s close friend and teammate, Kevin Bieksa lends his voice to affirm that mental illness is not a choice, a weakness or the result of not having tried hard enough. He and many others pledge to support those struggling with mental health issues.

I am encouraged by the quality of this website and by the high profile support it is receiving. Visit the site at www.mindcheck.ca

If you are struggling with a mental health issue or substance abuse problem, speak with your doctor. Help is available.

At Okanagan Clinical Trials we have an ongoing study examining an investigational medication for depression. If you are over the age of 18 and are depressed, you may be eligible to participate. Contact our office for information or to schedule a free, no obligation medical assessment.

 

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