We asked service providers what are the barriers faced by workers/staff/foster parents that prevent them from helping young people learn about and realize their health rights. Melissa weighs in on what some of them had to say!

We asked Melissa what she would like you to know about her and this is what she said: “I would say that I am an outgoing person. I love being with close friends and family. I like to spend most of my free time reading and listening to music. I would not feel complete without my work, my clients and making a difference in the groups and projects I am part of. I want to make a brighter future for the next generations, and not be afraid of what forces may stand in my way.’ Melissa is an aspiring Developmental Service Worker!

“Young People are not engaged.”

Behaviours of children in care become a barrier because you do not allow the youth to discuss the policies and personal discussions between the youth and authority figures. If you allowed them a voice and a time to share opinions, the barriers of children’s behaviours would dissipate. How would it make you feel if you were in their shoes?

If youth are not engaged/interested in their own care, you are not giving them the ability to make these decisions. Allow them a voice and an opinion; that makes a huge difference in how involved they would be. These decisions about their health is their choice. Allow them to make their choice of what their best interest is. If someone took away your right to manage your personal health care, wouldn’t you be enraged?

“Young people don’t understand health decisions.”

Age is not a barrier. If youth can understand what is being prescribed to them, they can make the best decision for themselves. It is about giving them the opportunity. Do not allow stereotypes to take away from the person and blur your ability to comprehend that they are still able to make decisions despite their stereotype(s).

You, yourself, are making the barriers.

Youth having mental health/developmental issues…does not keep them from learning and comprehending what is being said. It is insulting to the youth—the stereotype you lay on them. It may take them a little longer to grasp, but they do understand. Maybe you are not comprehending what having mental health and developmental issues mean. Inform yourself and look deeper into what you are saying, you are talking about half of the population…..

“Young people will make bad decisions (fear of harm, not in best interest).”

Fear will always be a factor in youth/children making their own decisions.

How else would you like them to grow and understand what is best if you don’t allow them to first make mistakes.

Making mistakes is how we learn. You may be surprised in how well youth/children understand what is best for them.

Take a leap of faith.

How do we know if refusing their medication will be detrimental to their mental and emotional health.

For example, Ritalin for youth with ADHD is more detrimental to their mental and emotional health; it drains them of their personality and character, making them like zombies. Medication/treatment is not always the best option, we need to find better options for youth.

“Job too difficult/complicated when young people have a say or know rights.”

Why do we make such a big deal about health rights if workers, caregivers, etc. don’t believe it themselves?

You are saying that youth being knowledgeable in making their decisions and understanding health rights is just a pin in the ass and is too much for you to handle.

Understand how hurtful that is to youth that have nothing keeping them tethered to the world.

We are trying to make a better world, why are you destroying this opportunity?

So you are basically saying that keeping youth dumb and compliant, makes it easy on you…

If you don’t want to help youth become better citizens then just leave them be. You and the stakeholders are just detrimental to the well-being and mental health of youth.

Would you sit by and just allow your rights and belief, education and you to be taken away. To say that it’s better to just sit in silence as you are trampled… I’d like to see what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot.



Add yours →

  1. Chalet Girl 2000 August 2, 2013 — 9:00 PM

    This blog makes me frown on people. I’m not saying this in a bad way but the black quotes like “Young people are not engaged” is the biggest crock of bull I’ve ever heard!I agree with Melissa’s statements. “Young people don’t understand health rights”, well Melissa is definitely on the right page when she writes this because if a young person understand what medication they are getting on then why say they don’t understand so you can force them? Melissa gave a good insight on fear take a leap of faith <3. I will not comment on the job piece because I could ramble for hours on this subject BUT why do people have to make a big stink over this topic.

    Good job Mel, excellent blog!

  2. I agree with Melissa that forcing youth to take medication is wrong because it is up to them to make their own decision.

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