Miranda Tymoschuk says Foundry will make it easier for kids to get help. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS

Miranda Tymoschuk says Foundry will make it easier for kids to get help. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS

Take that first step and talk, says Maple Ridge student

Youth Wellness Centre, Foundry program will make it easier for kids to get help

The new Foundry program offering one-stop help for kids will make a difference, says Miranda Tymoschuk.

She knows, because she’s been there.

The program, confirmed last week by the Ministry of Health, will offer kids one-stop help for everything from school issues, to looking for work, to dealing with family, health or emotional issues. A pilot version of that program has already been running in Maple Ridge for the past two years out of the Youth Wellness Centre, next to the Greg Moore Youth Centre, with the upscaled Foundry program kicking in, in about 18 months.

The Youth Wellness Centre could have helped Tymoschuk five years ago as she was experiencing her own crisis. She’d been suffering from undiagnosed liver problems problems for years, had been in and out of hospital for surgeries on her leg starting at eight years old, and had lost her dad when she was only five years old.

It all came to a head in Christmas 2011, when her gall bladder became infected. She had to go hospital and wait there two weeks for surgery. It turns out that condition had been bothering her for years and had also been affecting her mental health.

The physical pain was excruciating, as was her mental anguish at disrupting the family’s Christmas plans.

“I had this feeling that I was ruining everything for them.”

The mental stress mounted during her stay in hospital, although she’d been there several times before for previous surgeries.

“I just remember feeling really lonely,” she said.

“I think that was trigger for the post traumatic stress disorder.”

Once she was discharged from Royal Columbian Hospital, things just didn’t feel the same. She couldn’t focus in school and didn’t have the energy or patience for family or friends. “I felt just very disconnected from life in general and from my friends and how it used to be. All that was gone and I didn’t know how to get it back. I had no energy to even try to connect with friends anymore.”

Looking back, Tymoschuk says there could have been all sorts of stressors that led to the crisis.

She wanted to ask for help and remembers hesitating outside the school counsellor’s office at Thomas Haney secondary.

“I didn’t want anyone to see me and think I have a problem so I kept pushing it away.”

And what terrified her were her urges to hurt herself. Those came on suddenly, with no warning. She’d never felt that way before.

“I was sitting on my bedroom floor crying and just feeling so numb. I grabbed this pair of scissors and started pushing it into my skin – and I was like – what am I doing?”

The feelings left her shaken and reluctant to seek out help. What are they going to do? Lock her up? she remembered thinking.

The day after the incident, she told her teacher she was having a tough time, though she didn’t mention the urges to hurt herself. The teacher connected her with a school counsellor. Her mom got involved and after some efforts, got her daughter to a pyschologist.

The experience has reshaped how Tymoschuk thinks of mental illness, saying that before, she didn’t take it seriously. “It was a huge shock to me realize … mental illness is very real and it’s extremely difficult to deal with.”

With the Youth Wellness Centre, and the Foundry program, available, kids should find it quicker and easier to get help, without having to leave Maple Ridge.

She’s been involved in the local action team meetings that started the whole process of getting a youth wellness centre running.

“Now, it’s really exciting to see it moving forward, the Foundry being involved.”

It took a bit of patience though to listen to adult professionals express their vision. “As someone who dealt with mental illness and who’s been through the system … it’s so much different than what professionals think.” But it’s inspiring to see so many people concerned about the issue of kids health, she added.

Tymoschuk knows she wasn’t the sole person in high school having a tough time. She urges people to share what they’re going through with someone they’re close to. There is help out there, she said.

“Even if you don’t know where to find it, just having someone listen and there to support you to help you find it, is really important. Because every life is so important.

“To go through life feeling badly, or that you don’t want to live anymore … it’s not good and it happens too often. So people need to get the help they need.”

Just Posted

David Heberlein really enjoyed the kingfisher photo in the latest edition of The News. So much that he was inspred to submit his own bird photo. He captures this American goldfinch on the dike at the top of McKechnie Road in Pitt Meadows on Wednesday, May 12. “There are lots of goldfinches there at the moment and they are very active in the early evening,” he shared. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Goldfinches invade in early evening

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Environment Canada predicts mainly sunny weather for the weekend, with highs of 24 C. (The News files)
Sunny weekend in forecast for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Highs of 24 predicted for both Saturday and Sunday

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Pandemic fight in stark contrast to Second World War unity, Maple Ridge man says

What if people of the Allied nations thought only of themselves during battle to defeat Hitler?

The draw for May’s Shop Local & Win contest takes place June 4, 2021. (Special to The News)
Open your wallet close to home and win

Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce hosts shop local competition

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Most Read