We’re over halfway through our campaign to raise awareness for childhood mental illness and we’re still pushing away. Today is Day 30 of 50 and we’ve completed 50 pushups every single day so far.
Here’s a little background on #PushingForAwareness:
My son battles severe panic disorder, generalized anxiety, social anxiety and depression. He’s 10 years old and he’s been battling for a good 4 years now. Over the past year (before psychiatric diagnosis), he had to battle harder than I’ve seen anyone battle for anything.
After being on multiple waitlists and months and months of asking “Can I get help today, Mom?”, he was finally seen by a psychiatrist and diagnosed with his mental illnesses. He was prescribed medication to help him battle and he’s been rockin’ his meds for six weeks now.
We have great days and we have terrible days, but at the end of each day, I know he’s getting better. Although the hard days are extremely exhausting and heart-crushing, the good days are more frequent and help to restore our energy and our broken hearts.
While we were trying to get my son help, I found a serious lack of resources. No, that’s untrue. There are loads of resources, but I had no idea where to look. I had no idea how to help my son and I truly didn’t want to simply take advice from Dr. Google. This was my son we were talking about, he deserved real medical help.
I also found that supporting my son through the dark, dark times was extremely lonely. I often felt judged, alone and terrified. I didn’t know where to turn to get support. I was unaware of the resources available to families fighting for a loved one with mental illness.
But, we fought daily and while we fought, I found my son wanted to talk about what was happening to him and learn as much as he could about his brain. I also discovered his desire to educate.
One of the cool things about my son is that he is very, very open about his mental illness. If you want to talk to him about it, all you have to do is ask. He also loves to educate people on it. His teammates, his coaches, our family, his friends, etc. He wants people to understand what mental illness can look like and wants people to not be scared of it. He wants people to talk about childhood mental illness.
So, we created #PushingForAwarness to not only raise funds for organizations dedicated to raising awareness for mental illness but more importantly, to ensure the conversations about childhood mental illness are happening. We committed to 50 pushups for 50 days to help raise funds to support organizations we love that help kids and their families battle mental illness.
As of today, we’re on Day 30 of 50 and we’ve crushed 50 pushups for 30 days. The goal is to continue on for 20 more days. We have raised over $3000 so far, but we have a ways to go to meet our goal of $5000.
We’ve done pushups at baseball practice, in the early morning, late at night, and this weekend, with the Victoria HarbourCats.
We’ve also talked and talked and talked about childhood mental illness and I’ve gone Live on Facebook almost daily with current stats on people battling mental illness around the world and the lack of funding, support and knowledge.
I’ve been criticized for being so open about my son’s illness but I find that one of the most empowering pieces of feedback. I ask for my son’s approval for every piece I write and he approves all of it. If he terrifies others by being so open, then I think we’re doing something right. People are scared that he talks about this so openly.
Let them be terrified. We will continue to talk. And me…I will continue to be the most proud of all the Mama Bears out there.
I’m beyond proud of my son for the effort he puts in every day with this campaign. He’s inspired so many. And, he supports others raising awareness for mental illlness. This past weekend, we met up with an Oak Bay Councilor who rode a stationary bike to promote Ride, Don’t Hide. It was great for my son to see that others are also working hard to raise awareness and funds for mental illness.
He’s the reason elementary school kids started randomly doing pushups on the playground and having a conversation about childhood mental illness. He’s the reason I’m writing the scary truth about mental illness day after day after day. He’s the reason so many people have donated to our campaign, or become fundraisers themselves.
He’s the reason for all of this and is kicking some serious ass.
We have 20 days left. 20 days to raise another $2000. 20 days to do 1000 more pushups. 20 days to talk and talk and talk and talk about childhood mental illness.
But…if you think we’ll be quiet about it after the campaign is done…you’re wrong. We’ll continue to talk. I hope you will, too.
Where does the money raised from #PushingForAwareness go?
As we’ve gone through the campaign, we’ve found four organizations that support mental illness and feel are a good fit.
Buddy Check for Jesse
Head & Heart SK
Once the campaign is finished, Owen will decide how much money will go to each organization and present his donations to each. I can’t wait for that.
There’s the update, my friends.
1500 pushups done. 30 days. $3320 raised.
All to support and initiate conversations about childhood mental illness.
If you’d like to donate, please CLICK HERE. We’d appreciate any and all donations. Any amount helps and we’d be incredibly grateful to you for your support.
And please…share this campaign on your social. Please help us keep the conversations going and the donations coming in.
Thank you for your support, your kinds words and all the love you’ve sent us along the way. My son continues to battle daily and I stand beside him, sword drawn, battling his demons for him on the days he can’t. I’m proud to do it. I’m honoured to do it. But, he’s the real hero. He overcomes daily. He fights harder and has more grit and determination than any adult I know. He’s the coolest 10-year-old out there…and he’s the reason this campaign is going so well.
Thank you. Truly. Thank you for all of your support. xo