My Name is Finnegan
I live with anxiety and depression.
But I am Not Alone.
Bright, earnest and expressive, at 14, Finnegan Pihl speaks with a sense of clarity far beyond his years. When asked about what life has been like for him, living with a mental illness, he tells the story with ease, as though he has told the story many times before.
In fact, he has.
Finnegan was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when he was eight. At that age, he says he didn’t really understand what he was feeling, just that he didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. He didn’t want to go to school. The people and the experiences that used to bring him joy – his family, friends and pets – would only make him feel good for a few moments, but, he says ‘you always feel sad in the end.’
Finding help for Finnegan was a daunting task. He recalls it being like a perpetual game of ping pong, along the way having to tell his story over and over again to different doctors, therapists and care workers. Each time, they would listen attentively, help in their area of specialty, and send his parents with a list of resources they could access to address other aspects of his condition.
Over the past five years, Finnegan has become more passionate about speaking out about youth mental health issues, wanting to help others who, like him, are living with mental illness.
He wishes Foundry Kelowna had been open when he was younger. “I think the idea of having everything in one place, like the Foundry, is a great idea. I think I would have personally got help way faster and it would have been way less stressful for our entire family.”
Together with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna, we are raising $2million to open Foundry Kelowna, a new integrated care centre to support youth and families living with mental illness and substance issues. Everyone knows someone. This is a cause that touches us all.
Please give to support our young people, and the future mental wellness of our community.Donate to Not Alone Campaign