Last year, as a result of my experiences working with Cleft New Zealand, as well as my own experiences growing up with cleft lip and palate, it became clear that my original seminar that I’ve been delivering for years “It Gets Better: Dealing with Bullying” was in need of an update to reflect the reality that bullying is not the only thing that people need strategies to deal with. Rather, people can be discriminated against without being bullied per say, and so I have added content about some of the more subtle forms of discrimination.
Fortunately in the world we live in today, we are starting to talk about mental health in a much more productive way. When I first started, mentioning the “d” word carried a very heavy stigma – people battling with depression were wrongly seen as weak, rather than seeing depression as a sign of having remained strong for longer than one realistically should be expected to. Despite these changes in attitude though, we still have a very long way to go when it comes to how we view mental health. Through my role at Cleft NZ, I have met many young people battling in silence with depression and anxiety, therefore, I have added some information on depression and strategies for dealing with it into the new and updated version of the “It Gets Better” seminar. Watch online now.