Fight Kits

At a play a few of our youth were in

  This month I got the pleasure to help lead and participate in a girls-only event. The plan was for these young ladies to create “Fight Kits”. No, not a UFC training kit but a mental health first aid kit. Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness or disorders than any other age group and 70% of these mental health issues began during childhood or adolescence. I was very excited to not only engage in conversations regarding mental health but to also share my journey with an anxiety disorder to some of the youth. Mental health can be a tough subject to talk about and not everyone understands it. However, I think it should be talked about and shared because so many people, including youth, struggle with these issues on a daily basis, sometimes with no one to speak too about it.

  When someone is in a state of a panic attack, dealing with suicidal thoughts or eating disorders, your brain can become so debilitating your thinking can get out of sorts. This has led to the idea behind a fight kit - something the girls can make and load with positive, encouraging and helpful tools to get through their day. We want to foster positive mental health.

  The Public Health Agency of Canada describes positive mental health as “the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face.” The kit includes a list of twenty activities to do when you are anxious, angry, depressed, lonely or even just bored. Some of mine that I included was playing guitar, going for a walk, calling a friend or doing some yoga. We also included lists of people who love us and our favourite uplifting quotes. It was encouraging to see how excited these girls were over something so simple. We filled the bags with journals, our favourite tea, snacks and pictures of our friends and family. This kit opened up meaningful conversations about mental health. Many were excited and looked forward to having a tangible tool they can take out of their closet and use in times of need. What are your thoughts on a fight kit? What would you put in yours?

- Savannah Deepwell

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