Okanagan teen’s royal conversation about mental health

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Okanagan teen’s royal conversation about mental health
Okanagan teen’s royal conversation about mental health – Oct 10, 2016

It was an unusual request of a 17-year-old university student: travel to Victoria to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and speak with them about a cause the royal couple are advocates for.

“I think the first question was ‘what am I going to wear?’”

Summerland’s Dan Nixon has been an advocate for mental health since high school.

He volunteers as a youth ambassador for the Kelty Resource Centre, which is based out of BC Children’s Hospital.

READ MORE: Kate Middleton talks children’s mental health

Nixon’s work as a champion for emotional wellness has him being noticed as a well-spoken advocate for mental health. So much so, he was offered a chance to meet the royal couple to discuss the issue and how it affects British Columbia’s youth.

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“People when they’re suffering don’t want to come forward. When you break your arm, people are totally fine saying ‘yes, I broke my arm’.  But when you’re suffering from depression or anxiety people aren’t as willing to come forward and say they need help.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Activist speaks to Will and Kate about Mental Health

Nixon explained what he has done as an ambassador to the pair and had a candid, ten minute discussion about how they could get involved.

“If they started talking about [mental wellness] and someone sees the Duke and Duchess can talk about their mental health, I should be able to as well.”

He was joined by his mother and father in the royal meeting, who are proud of everything their son has done to lessen the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“It starts small,” said his mother, Wendy. “You start with one person or one friend who is having trouble and then it just grows.”

You can learn more about the Kelty Resource Centre and how to receive mental health help here.

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