Hi, my name is Jadyn! I’m a youth ambassador at orenda society. I have been going to there camps for 2 years now and I have loved it since the beginning. Being at camp allowed me to open up about my experiences with mental health and to really talk about it. Mental health is something that we should all be open to talk about, as it can have a huge impact on our lives and the lives around us.

When my older sister was 13, she got diagnosed with depression. I still have a vivid memory of sitting on the top of the stairs and seeing my mom take a knife from my sister. They were both crying and I had no idea why. There were days where I would hide in my room and hear my sister crying and screaming. I was so scared and confused.

One day I was at a friends house when my dad came to the door and said that your sister is in the hospital. My twin sister and I had no idea what was going on. When I got to the hospital, I saw her and I just cried. She was in the hospital for about 3 years. It was so so hard because I loved her so much and to see someone that you really care about go through something like that is almost unbearable.

She still has scars on her legs and her arms. She still struggles. She worries about her body Image almost every day. But she is beautiful. Every single person is beautiful and should be reminded. Going through it alone is the hardest part, but if you have someone to talk to, it becomes so much easier.

Why do people hide their feelings? Maybe it’s because they feel alone and they feel scared. Life is filled with happy moments and memories you’ll never forget. But life is also filled with difficult times. Maybe you cry yourself to sleep almost every day. I know I have. My tears are REAL, my feelings are REAL. Always know that your feelings are ALWAYS valid. Just talk to someone, please talk to someone, because there is always someone who will listen.

It is so so important to feel like you’re not alone. Life is one big journey, and sometimes that journey can get rough, but if we all stick together and help one another, that journey becomes easier. “You cannot recover from anxiety by just staying calm, you cannot recover from depression by just being positive. If mental illnesses were that simple, we wouldn’t be struggling in the first place.” Your illness doesn’t define who you are, your strength and courage do.