A youth that I’ve been working with for a couple of months lost his job on the weekend. While it’s never a happy thing to hear, sometimes it’s actually a blessing in disguise. John came to us from another province, where he had been living with his father. While John was very friendly and likeable, he did not like to share much about himself, as he considers himself a very private person and thinks he should be able to take care of his problems on his own. He did tell us he was in foster care when he was young, as he was abused emotionally and physically by his mother. We also knew that he had tried to commit suicide a few years ago.
Shortly after coming to us, John found a job in a restaurant. He worked hard at his job and clearly enjoyed it, but we could see that John was not sleeping well and seemed pretty down at times. Losing the job was quite a blow to John, but the subsequent conversation that happened with his worker led to John opening up to staff and realizing that he needed help.
John revealed that he has been struggling with depression for a long time and felt that this was the beginning of a bad period for him. He shared that the holiday season was a particularly hard time. Like many of our youth, John was sad to be without family at this time of year, but the holiday's also bring back many memories of family conflict. John, who for so many months, said he could deal with his issues on his own, finally asked for help and wanted to talk about his mental health. We were able to refer John to our Mental Health Team through Covenant House, to get the care he needs. John is also now talking about finishing high school. He realizes he’ll have his whole life to work, but will be much more successful if he takes care of himself first.