Meet Megan, Student Advocate

Megan first learned about the student-run Normal is Overrated event, a program for teenagers to tell their stories about mental health, in high school and decided to speak about her anxiety and depression as well as her ADHD diagnosis during the 2021 program.

She talked about how her anxiety and negative thoughts about herself were thought by many to be a “normal teenage girl” thing in middle school. Once she realized her extreme negative thoughts were not normal, she was able to get treatment. After an emotional discussion at the doctor’s office, her doctor referred her to a counselor.

Through therapy and medication, she said she is content with herself and can redirect anxious thoughts through tools learned through cognitive therapy.

Now when she has negative or anxious thoughts, she can identify where the thought is coming from, recognize it is valid, and understand the emotions and behaviors the thought causes. Then she can consider evidence that refutes the negative thought. This process helps her to process and let those thoughts go.

By speaking at Normal is Overrated, she also connected with other speakers and learned she was not alone, and that people want to help. Now she does her best to help peers who are struggling to get the help they need.

Help Support Resources for Youth Like Megan 

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Founded in 2016, Kids’ Minds Matter is a unified movement in Southwest Florida dedicated to advancing pediatric mental and behavioral health services. By developing clinical pathways to screen and treat patients, enhancing public awareness through education, and lobbying for systemic change and sustainable funding, Kids’ Minds Matter aims to align mental health providers, local agencies, the judicial system, law enforcement, schools and faith-based organizations. Kids’ Minds Matter is managed through the Lee Health Foundation.

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It’s Time to Act!

Did you attend the virtual Town Hall about the state of mental health in our community? (If not, view this impactful meeting by clicking below.) You can participate in improving mental health treatment in Southwest Florida in so many ways!