A winner has been selected by a panel of community judges in the Stikine MLA’s annual contest for youth. Hannah Trombley, a grade 12 student from Hazelton, wrote the winning essay for the “Score One for Mental Wellness” contest that Donaldson and a team of sponsors offered to young people in his riding.
“Today’s teenagers report being significantly more anxious than their mothers and fathers were at the same age. We also know that a staggering 3.2 million teens in Canada are at risk for developing depression,” said Donaldson. “But young people can learn from each other about mental wellness, and there are methods and supports to improve mental health. That is why we chose this theme for the annual contest we run from our Stikine MLA offices, teaming up with Dan Hamhuis of the Vancouver Canucks each year.”
Hannah and one of her parents will fly to Vancouver courtesy of HawkAir, attend the April 11 Canucks game courtesy of RBC, and get some cool Canucks swag thanks to Dan Hamhuis and the Vancouver Canucks. The Gitxsan Government Commission paid for accommodation, the Town of Smithers and the RCMP provided the judging of all the essays, and the Interior News and Moose FM donated advertising.
In her essay that impressed the judges, Hannah writes: “I struggle with anxiety…Whether I was born this way or anxiety runs in my family, or the world has shaped me to be like this, I do not know. My anxiety has affected me largely at school. It has ruined relationships with my friends and it has made me afraid to try new things, to commit and to trust.
“The turning point of my anxiety was when I finally talked to my mom and friends. I have learned that I am not the only person who struggles with anxiety. My anxiety is a companion every day and I have come up with coping methods in order for it not to control me life. …My advice to everyone is to take care of your mind and body, and to think only positive thoughts about yourself… Once you start loving yourself exactly for who you are and want to be, the world becomes a much more beautiful and enjoyable place to live in. Impress yourself, not others.”