My name is Simone Aslan. I am a graduating student at the Study School. I am an artist, I love my friends, I am a total chatterbox, and I spent most of my grade 10 year wondering why I was still alive.
As cliché as it may sound, depression does not discriminate. Anybody can come down with it at any time. My time was most certainly from August to June of last year. I spent most of my days just doing the bare minimum to get by. It was hard. It's hard to wake up when the first thought that comes to mind is: "why did I have to wake up?".
In November of last year, the suicidal thoughts began to take over. When this happened, I did one of the hardest things that anyone could ever do: I spoke about it. I told my parents, and made them take me to the Montreal Children's Hospital Psychiatric Ward. I spent a week there. The staff were wonderful, and I felt much better facing the day once I was discharged.
The months after were full of ups and downs, for me to finally come out as a stronger, albeit still occasionally sad, person. I wanted to thank the hospital for all they had done for me, so I began contacting them as to the creation of care packages for psychiatric patients. I soon discovered that packages, although a nice touch, were not the highest in demand items.
Soaps. Shampoos. Toothbrushes. Socks. These are some of the most in demand items for adolescents at the hospital. Basic necessities are in high demand, and often not thought about. Not everyone has the resources to make their stay an entirely comfortable one. For example, northern Canada Inuit communities have an 11x higher suicide rate than the rest of Canada, one of the highest in the world. When they need to get flown into the hospital, their family isn't always able to offer the necessary comfort or resources.
As Marie-France Haineault told me during our meeting in November, "Sometimes it's not about toys and pretty things. The most important thing is sometimes just to feel clean".
Please help me raise funds for my initiative to supply such basic items. They are in such demand, and I really want to reach my goal. This is so, so important a project for me, and I can't do it alone. Please help me out, and donate whatever you can.
 Government of Canada. (2006). Aboriginal mental health and well-being. In The human face of mental health and mental illness in Canada (Chapter 12)