“D.I.F.D is about inspiring conversations — raising awareness — transforming youth mental health.”
As the stigma of Mental Health continues to fade, I noticed that, while society is in the process of trying to erase this ignominy that surrounds mental health, many efforts have been made to raise awareness of this serious issue. Just in this past year, I feel as if the “topic” of mental health has been extremely prevalent and especially in my generation. As a high school student, we, as a school, were fortunate to have an entire morning that focused on mental health beginning with being informed about the subject, followed by multiple discussions with classmates led by a figure of authority who was educated on the particular category relating to Mental Health.
Mental Health does not affect a specific age category, it can effect anyone at any age – ultimately, we each have Mental Health, but everyone is different. As being part of a “younger” generation, I feel as though it is important for us to talk about how we are feeling without being ashamed of feeling alienated if we are suffering. We need to be there for each other and carry one another along because it is a hard battle when you are fighting it alone. In my opinion, the young adolescent to late-teen years are an exceptionally stressful time in life; in which, in that frame of time marks an important experiences such as self discovery, peer pressure, and stress (just to list a few). I feel as if mental illnesses are very present during this stage of life simply based on personal observation. D.I.F.D (Do It For Daron) is a movement that was started by a young girl’s parents, Luke and Stephanie Richardson. These parents suffered the loss of their 14-year old, Daron, in November of 2010.
This movement is present to try and get people (especially teenagers/young adults) talking about Mental Health and Suicide. The organization is working on multiple projects which include a Research Project that is studying how to best teach mental health awareness in schools and “Resilient & Ready” which is a luncheon conversation for parents to learn about how to talk to their kids about Mental Health.
Statistics that D.I.F.D shared:
- 1 in 5 Canadian youth suffer from mental illness
- Suicide is the second leading cause of young people ages 15 to 24
- Over 200 youth take their own lives in Canada every year