According to the Canadian Mental Health Association it is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder. “NL youth are suffering with anxiety, stress, OCD, depression and other forms of mental illness more now than ever in history,” says Jeremy Bennett, “It’s so sad to hear their stories.”

Bennett knows all about it, having overcome not one form of mental illness, but several. “I’ve lived it, I went through anxiety, I went through agoraphobia, I went through clinical depression, I suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder.” Now he travels the continent sharing his secrets for beating them.

Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode; that’s 5 in 100 boys and 12 in 100 girls between 12-19. Suicide is a leading cause of death for youth between 15-24. 

To do something about  these stats, he’s been traveling the country, showing kids how to “deal with these sorts of things. The presentations are a huge success and in many cases not only transformed these kids’ lives, but actually saved many.”

His issue now is that he says there is “no money in the provincial budget to send me to different schools around NL to help show them effective tools to deal with anxiety and depression.”

He says at a time when mental healthcare provisions in our province are notoriously poor, we’ve never seen “such a rapid increase in mental health issues among our own youth.”

So he’s doing what everyone does these days, and turning to Go Fund Me to secure funding from the public. His goal is to raise enough money to help cover travel, accommodations, props, meals, etc. for 10 schools in our province. His goal is $10,000 by August 15.

His presentation is called “Calm Your Mind, Transform Your Life: For Students.” Each presentation will cost $1000, and to date he’s coming up on enough for 3 schools, with donations coming in as low as $5 a pop. The presentation will, in the least, let youth know they’re not alone, they’re not trapped, and should reach out for help.

“To hear one-on-one what these kids are going through is absolutely heart wrenching. Some of these kids cannot go to school because their anxiety is so severe. Some can’t even leave their house. And the sad reality is so many of these students are self-medicating with alcohol and recreational drugs. This, in return is only making the problem worse.”

To help Jeremy on his mission, visit his Go Fund Me page here: