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A Movement to Improve Youth Mental Health

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Did you know:

  • Teen suicide is rising at 10% per year.
  • Nearly 13% of teens have developed a “suicide plan” with females at a significantly higher rate than males.
  • More than 20% of teens have been bullied at school.
  • Nearly 40% of teens drink alcohol regularly.
  • Nearly 35% of teens are sexually active, while less than 40% use birth control.
  • Nearly 30% of teens have felt sad or hopeless for extended periods.
  • Some 8% of students have been forced into sex.
  • More than 9% of students have experienced violence on a date.

StressSlayer.com is the beginning of a movement to improve the mental health of young people across North America and the world; contributing 75% of all proceeds to youth mental health organizations, with the goal of supporting mental health programs for our children and teens, offering alternatives to the destructive action that is fostered by our contemporary high-tech, high-stress culture.

Young people and stress

Stress is the principle cause of destructive behaviors among youth today; whether directed at themselves or at others. Young people today are deluged with harmful messages delivered at lightning-quick digital speeds from sources too numerous to calculate. Because of the digital age in which we now live, these messages are being delivered to former safe havens for children: their homes, their phones, their most private spaces, online, and through social media. From cyber-bullying to the in-your-face bullies they encounter at school, our children today are receiving harmful, negative messaging at a rate we could not comprehend even a decade ago.

Beyond this, the pressure to succeed is another stressor for young people today; whether the pressure to get good grades or to be the most popular; to succeed in sports or be the best looking, peer and parental pressure has become endemic among young people, yet they have not been taught to handle that pressure.

This cycle must end or the children of today, the young people who will become the parents, teachers, and leaders of tomorrow will never develop the tools and skills to lead happy, healthy productive lives – and will fail miserably at teaching the next generation to do so, as well.

StressSlayer.com Goals

  • Provide affordable stress counseling for children and teens
  • Offer alternatives to traditional counseling for children and teens
  • Fund raising for youth mental health programs, using the Stress Slayer Brand
  • Provide information and strategies to parents, teachers, and guardians about mental health options for young people

High-risk behavior among young people is on the rise

The numbers have become staggering for teens with self-destructive tendencies, most of it a direct result of bullying, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States.

  • According to the study, fully one-half of teens have tried to commit suicide, while 1 in 6 have seriously considered killing themselves.
  • The suicide rate among teens has grown by nearly 20% in the two years from 2009 to 2011.
  • School children from the ages of 14-16 are more likely to consider suicide due to bullying at a somewhat higher rate than are older students.
  • Girls are more likely to attempt suicide than boys.
  • Some 20% of high school students have been victimized by bullying at school, while 16% had been the victim of “cyber-bullying” through digital encounters.
  • Other high-risk behaviors are also on the rise among teens. For the first time we are seeing a new trend among young people who are committing suicide, called “cluster suicides,” which involves closely knit groups of teens committing suicide as a result of a close friend having done so. This is alarming and unprecedented.

The numbers in Canada reflect similar problems for teens suffering from stress related issues and mental health disorders, as evidenced by the most recent statistical analysis presented by Public Safety Canada.

  • 25% of young Canadians have used marijuana
  • 7% of our youth have sampled hard drugs, such as cocaine or crack, speed, ecstasy, hallucinogens, or heroin
  • Nearly 72% of young people have ingested alcohol
  • Nearly 30,000 youth are victims of violent crime each year in Canada
  • For children 6 and under, assaults are commonly at the hands of a family member
  • For older children an acquaintance or stranger is more likely to victimize the child
  • 10% of young men and 7% of young women drop out of school

It is the goal of StressSlayer.com to provide increased support of youth mental health programs, while at the same time promoting those programs and finding effective methods of funding them. The introduction of the Stress Slayer Brand is the first step in this process.

Stress Slayer will offer funding and support to organizations such as BullyingCanada.ca, a national anti-bullying campaign with a strong focus on bullying and victimization among young people; Kids Help Phone, a confidential phone and online counselling service for young people.

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Stress Slayer Initiative

Stress Slayer is dedicated to helping youth overcome mental health issues. We are excited about launching our new initiative that will help our youth receive the help they deserve by filling a huge gap in services that currently exists in the mental health field.

1 in 5 young people will be diagnosed with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Out of that, 25% will attempt and fulfill suicide. These are the statistics from those who report for treatment. In reality, the actual numbers are much higher. Mental health issues are reaching epidemic proportions worldwide, especially in developed nations like North America. This is unacceptable and current services cannot keep up with the demand. Talk therapies are one of the best ways to help young people cope, as well as reinstating optimal mental health, especially when provided by other young people.

We propose to fill the gap in service is the following ways:

New Counsellor/Therapist graduates require 3-5 years of experience before they can acquire a full time job in the field of counselling and psychology. To that end Stress Slayer and Integrity Counselling Services will provide jobs for those looking for the experience by pairing them with young people who have mental health issues but cannot wait the usual 8-12 months for government covered services or for those youth who cannot afford to pay for private practice, or do not meet the criteria for funded treatment.

The Stress Slayer team of experienced counsellors/social workers/therapists will provide close supervision for those new clinicians, while being able to help young people immediately.

We will do this by acquiring funding from businesses, corporations and individuals through fundraising efforts and philanthropic gifts.

Every $20.00 that we receive will provide one hour of counselling for a young person in need and payment for the new clinicians, who will be able to acquire counselling experience. It’s a win-win situation.

One hundred percent (100%) of each $20.00 raised will go directly to pay the clinicians. Stress Slayer will require $5.00-$10.00 from each client to pay for administration costs.

Stress Slayer is not a charitable organization and therefore we cannot provide government tax receipts. We are hoping that we can provide sponsorships links to our websites, advertising on our social media sites and at our own fundraising events.

The young people of today are our future leaders and it’s up to all of us to ensure that they are healthy and able to function to the best of their abilities.

We at Stress Slayer are grateful for any support you can provide, philanthropic gifts, expertise, resources, sponsorships, etc.

If you would like more information about Stress Slayers exciting new initiative or to provide support, please contact:

Cheryl Hitchcock DSW, ADC
416-919-9831 or email chitchcock@rogers.com