It’s the kind of emotional hurt that cuts so deep, the mere mention of it risks further damage.

Surrey resident Keely Ryan, 20, experienced her first mental health crisis in her early teens.

She sought and received the help she needed to get better.

Then, a new crisis – trauma.

She felt at the time she was done with all the treatment and fixing. She just wanted to get on with her life.

However, trauma has a way of lying in wait, and persists until it can be adequately treated.

She finally admitted to herself she needed to get help.

“I was ready this time,” she says. “My therapist recognized all the signs of trauma , which I had been unable to fully see the effects of.”

Healing was a slow and arduous journey. Looking back she sees her admission that she needed help was one of the most important decisions she made.

“The most important thing is to first admit to yourself that you actually need some help,” she says. No one can get through life completely on their own. Good counsellors show us how to do the work for ourselves.”

During Mental Health Week (May 6-12) she is urging other youth who may be hurting to reach out for good help.

Ryan is now a member of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, working to get that message out.

YAC is made up of 20 youth in and from care from different parts of the province. They represent a diverse range of age groups, cultures and gender identities.

“Really getting connected and engaged with something that mattered to me was life-saving,” she said. “On the council, we all have one thing in common. We’ve all been in care.”


Find out more or reach out for help

Find a CYMH intake clinic in your area:

If you’re a former youth in care, do you know about
Are you aware of FoundryBC?

Families, check out Confident Parents: Thriving Kids:
Family support is also available through FamilySmart: