I wrote this little story and published it on my personal Instagram page (@rayneembley) earlier in the week and the feedback was insane. The fact it touched so many people is a testament to the cause and what they are trying to achieve.
“1 in 3 deaths of Australian young people is from suicide. New solutions are urgently needed.”
Embrace at Telethon Kids Institute is Australia’s first comprehensive research centre devoted to the mental health of children and young people aged 0 – 25. There’s already so much research into mental health for our teens and above but are we getting to these kids too late? Has the damage already been done? Embrace is trying to answer those questions for us, and they need our support.
Read on below for how you can get involved and find out how we can support Embrace, together. Here is my story….
I’ve been trying to write my story since Embrace launched last week. I was honoured to be asked to be part of this movement as I believe we are in urgent need of change but it’s also quite confronting to go back and relive trauma stories from our childhood. I guess that’s how we relate though. That notion that we have all been there at some point and although it’s in the tough times that most of us grow, so many others succumb to the darkness and it’s for this reason that our stories cannot be forgotten. We must remember them, we must learn from them so we can guide and empathize with the generation currently going through their own hard stories.
For me, yes I was bullied. The ‘Hate Rayne Club’ nearly broke me in year 7. I disliked high school so much that I remember being told if I missed one more half day that year, I would fail on attendance requirements. But I don’t want to tell my stories of being bullied and struggling through my parent’s separation at 13. I want to speak out about how my parents worked hard with me at home on my resilience to give me the tools to cope with the outside world.
They didn’t interfere at any of the 5 schools I attended or if they did, I certainly didn’t know about it. Mums approach was to continually challenge my thinking on why these behaviours were happening and how I could perceive them differently and choose my reaction. She gave me books to read like The Power Of Now by Elkhart Tolle and the Celestine Prophecy before the age of 13, along with these I was slowly becoming familiar with meditation. Dad constantly told me I was strong and beautiful and encouraged me to throw on my shoes and run when I needed to clear my head or find space.
My mum always made available trusted people close to me like her mum, my Big Nan and her sister Aunty Kaz, she was wise enough to know that for some reason kids don’t open up about everything to their parents. I learnt to ask for help, I learnt to seek knowledge and I also learnt how to go inwards.
I thank my parents and family for always being available to listen and teach me these life skills that has turned me into the woman I am today.
I still see my trusted reiki master every 6 weeks and have done so for 11 years. I read books and seek knowledge in all areas of my life and I’m making it my mission to not only pass these skills on to my kids but support and educate other parents to develop these skills for themselves and for their children.
We need our children to see us vulnerable. We need our children to see us seek and ask for help ourselves and it’s our duty to encourage and guide our children to do the same. We need to normalize and take the stigma out of mental health especially when it comes to the most vulnerable, our children. Giving them the tools to grow and better themselves from the inside out will help stabilize them in the future.
The fact is there will be shit times. We can’t protect them from that, but we can make it our duty to allow them to have those experiences whilst giving them the skills behind the scenes to cope.
Let’s all get behind the Telethon Kids Institute and #supportembrace. Here’s how you can make a difference.
- Share a photo of your younger self on Facebook or Instagram talking about a time where you felt vulnerable as a child. Tag the photo @TelethonKids #SupportEmbrace. Tag @rayneembley if you’re happy for me to share your story.
- Make a donation to the Embrace campaign to help support their team of researchers, however small that may be, every dollar counts. The donation link is embrace.telethonkids.org.au
Editor: Rayne Bryant
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