Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday September 22
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Monday, September 22, 2014 — 9 For a Limited Time. 5% discount for Seniors on presentation of your card. Every Tuesday 126625-v4 If you are having problems hearing - then talk to the experts at Applied Hearing. With over 50 years experience, we’ll help nd the right solution for you. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how little our hearing aids can cost and how much they will improve your life in many ways. CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE HEARING TEST IF YOU’RE 50 + AND GET: Full 60-day trial and a satisfaction guarantee • Quality Hearing Aids at affordable prices • Access to Government and Insurance Funding • Extra rebate if you buy two hearing aids • Free follow-up appointments for the • rst year Free batteries for 12 months • at nalisation Come and Get a FREE Hearing Test For a no-obligation appointment at Applied Hearing’s Selwyn House clinic, Phone 524 5736 www.appliedhearing.co.nz 122685 Catching attention of United Nations WHO SHE IS: Pakuranga College head girl Stephanie Shen’s poem on reducing the stigma around youth and mental health conditions was selected to be published in a United Nations publication launched on UN International Youth Day. Times photo Farida Master By Farida Master tHOSE with mental health is- sues should not be shunned or shamed. It’s the message the United Nations International Youth Day drummed in with this year’s theme Youth and Mental Health, with the catchphrase of “Mental Health Matters”. The idea behind it was to make the generation of digital ninjas more inclusive and aware that those with mental health issues should not be discriminated against. UN4Youth invited young people all over the world to submit art- works, illustrations, videos, pho- tos, poems and stories about the positive impact of speaking out on mental health. Entries were included in the UN publication, Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Condi- tions, launched on August 12, UN International Youth Day. It was also showcased at UN Headquarters, in New York, as well as having an online presence on Pinterest and Facebook. Reading about it on Facebook, Stephanie Shen, the head girl at Pakuranga College, was driven to contribute. “At the time the United Nations was promoting the campaign, I was studying the theme of personal identity in English. “The book, Still Alice, revolved around a woman who had an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and impacted on me,” says Stephanie. The empathetic school leader, known for reaching out to stu- dents, found herself writing a mov- ing poem, Who I am. “It’s about making people realise that mental illness does not define them, and that our personal iden- tity is made up of so much more driven by our own self-esteem.” When she first wrote the poem, she did it with the intention of just contributing towards a cause. “I didn’t expect anything to even- tuate from it and almost forgot that I’d written it.” The year 13 student admits she was caught off guard when seeing her poem being shared by the UN on Facebook. “I was thrilled that my poem was selected from thousands of entries. “There were several hundred likes on it and it was overwhelm- ing to be flooded with encourag- ing feedback of kindness and much gratitude.” It’s had a ripple effect as other youth organisations shared it with their groups and acknowledged the poem as powerful. “When I realised my poem was in the publication that was presented at UN Headquarters in New York, I was speechless. “It made me realise how empow- ering it is to share your thoughts on a platform where so many people around the world can see it. “The more passionate we are, the more we can fulfil the role as change-makers of the future.” Stephanie wants to reassure those suffering from mental illness that no one should experience it alone. “The more people know about it, the sooner you are on your way to recovery with support from family and friends,” she says. The 18-year-old has also shared her poem with the Mental Health Foundation of NZ that stages Men- tal Health Awareness Week on October 6-12. Who I am, by Stephanie Shen I am not a definition of Your criticism and judgemental stares A fear of being seen by others Because it’s too humiliating I am not your definition of Stupid, dumb, retarded, freak Because that’s not true; I am a Person who has lived with Memories, experiences, just like you And just as life cannot be bound by Your cast of negative comments. But this can change If you let loose the string of deprecating Comments, and open your eyes. Iamapersonof Memories, experiences and Just life can be living with Truth that we are Intelligent people who just need to be Understood. Seeme,andseemeaswhoIam Look at me. Don’t define me.
Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday September 18 2014
Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday September 25