A child with a mental illness has an increased likelihood of being bullied. A child who is bullied has an increased chance of having a mental illness. Tracey Maxfield understands bullying and depression and she is on a mission to help kids escape the rabbit hole she found herself in. Her motto is: engage, educate empower. In this powerful episode, you will learn tips and tricks for dealing with a child who is suffering from depression.
For Tracey's book and many great resources visit: www.traceymaxfield.com
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Tracey was born in Wales, UK. Her family was abusive both physically and emotionally. She wanted to be a nurse and to live in America. Those two goals propelled her through the abuse and kept her going. She moved to Canada and became a nurse there.
She has been a nurse for over 36 years. She has always worked with children. She started work at a new place and experienced workplace bullying which led to an acute depression.
Dealing with Depression
She had had two previous episodes of depression, but this was much worse cognitively and emotionally. She faced suicide a number of times. About a year in, her psychologist suggested she start sharing her feelings in a blog so she could express her emotions.
After her blog, people reached out and suggested she make this into a book. A publisher took a look and she got an offer to publish her book, Escaping the Rabbit Hole: My Journey through Depression.
Mental Illness in Kids and Teens
She decided to concentrate on children and teenagers because she was invited to a school to talk to teens. She was there to talk about imagery in writing. As she started talking about the book, they were interested in hearing about her journey and shared their own experiences with bullying and mental illness.
She was invited back to talk about mental illness. Many kids came to her booth that day because they wanted to know how she escaped the rabbit hole. Kids started telling her their stories and she realized how many kids are struggling with this.
16 teenagers will die every day because of suicide. 3041 high school students today will attempt suicide. This is heartbreaking. They see no hope.
We have to listen to these kids and be there for them. Kids will only trust an adult if they believe that you will believe them and that you know what you are talking about.
There is Hope
“My mantra is: engage, educate empower.” You have to have a safe space and a trusting space for them to come to. You have to listen to them, including listening to what’s not being said.
After listening to their stories, I show them that there’s no shame. 1 in 5 kids have a mental illness. 50% of lifetime mental illness shows up in childhood.
Talking to Kids suffering from Depression
Have one on one time with your child. That will increase the connection. Kids will open up more when you spend that time with them. Validate what is going on with them. When they say something to you, you can’t judge.
A child with a mental illness has an increased likelihood of being bullied. A child who is bullied has an increased chance of having a mental illness.
Children need a safe, trusted adult that they can turn to. That’s when you can empower them and help them get stronger as they move into the future.
Be Kind. We are so consumed with things; we have to look out for other people. It will take a community to help these kids who are facing mental illness and bullying. Sprinkle kindness everywhere.