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Being mentally stable is healthy for you because you can enjoy life more, cope with problems, and it makes you stronger every day. When I was about 9, life was good, I was being a kid and thinking everything in my life was normal. My parents were happy, and my life was happy and wonderful. Later that year my great grandmother died, and my parents separated. It became very stressful for me. I became madder at the world and upset with myself. I thought it was my fault my parents separated, and I blamed myself for not saying goodbye to my great grandmother.  A year later my dad got a girlfriend, that's when we found out the whole time my dad was cheating on my mom with her. I didn’t know about this until about 8th grade. I liked her at first, but she became more controlling, rude, and would lie to my dad about everything that would get us in trouble. Once I got into 8th grade, it got to a point where I was depressed and upset with my dad because he would choose her over his own kids.           I really wanted to stand up for myself, but if I said one word to her, he would believe her over me and my siblings. He would always listen to her so I would get in trouble and grounded. I became very depressed and thought about harming myself in ways I shouldn’t be thinking. I was tired all the time and I had no motivation to do anything. I used to love sports, but when I became depressed and started to think about self-harm, I couldn’t even do that. I was sleeping all the time even during the weekends.  During school time I would sleep until dinner and then go back to sleep. I would put a happy face on all the time no one knew I was upset and depressed. I finally went to my doctor and he put me in a group of kids that are in the same situation as me and I loved it. It helped a lot knowing that it’s not just me, there are others going through the same thing and we all can help each other. I had learned a lot about self-harm and those thoughts aren’t healthy. There are good coping skills out there, such as watching TV, exercise, playing board games, etc.  I wanted to tell my story about mental health to show others that they are not alone. I understand what you are going through. I have learned that even when I am in a bad spot, I need to find more and better coping skills than thinking about harming myself. Having a healthy mental state is what I need in life right now. I wish I could have talked to someone and not have those bad thoughts I wish I told my mom before it got worse. This moment in life taught me that even when you're in a bad spot that you can get the help you need from your family and friends. I learned things about myself; that I am a strong human being.

© Emily Borron. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.