Sharing his story is something 16-year Tian Wong See hopes will help others struggling with mental health issues.
He was just eight years old when the death of a much-loved family dog triggered severe depression which added to the severe anxiety he already had.
“Over the three years I was getting professional help, I went to various places and people, especially since there was a lack of support for people so young. It was something people couldn’t believe, an 8-year-old with severe depression and suicidal thoughts,” he said.
His story is the start of a collection of booklets titled Stories of Hopeaimed at youth. The first edition will contain stories about recovering from poor mental health. Tian’s story is the first in the edition titled: One in 5 to None in 5.
He is in the process of gathering more stories.
“It was a bit difficult getting my thoughts onto paper,” he said. “I was thinking about the lack of empathy in society (which) brought me to the conclusion that it was due to a lack of understanding of others on an individual to individual level and that was affecting our whole community.“
He says the planned booklets are not only stories of hope, but a way to share significant, positive experiences with the community.
One of the ways he deals with anxiety is by keeping busy. As well as being a Hills Youth Ambassador he will be leading the Sydney Hills Youth Choir this year and is currently in rehearsals as part of the stadium performance of The Wizard of Oz at the Qudos Bank Arena on January 25.