Connect, Support and Enable Internationals to Adapt and Thrive in Shanghai
By Carrie Jones, LCSW
CCS Director of Counseling
Community Center Shanghai (CCS) extends a giant thank you to the CCS Teen Advocates for their commitment to normalizing mental health issues and breaking the silence and stigma that often surrounds them. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The CCS Teen Advocates are doing just this! These committed teens spent their summer not only learning about various mental health issues, how they impact individuals, and how to help recognize and support someone who may be experiencing a mental health struggle, but also planning some exciting community projects and initiatives they will launch as this new school year begins.
Here’s a video of the teens in action this summer:
CCS also extends a massive thank you to CCS Volunteer, Tonye Stuurman, who also is a beautiful living example of Gandhi’s quote. In addition to creating this and other videos of the teens this summer,Tonye also attended all the sessions and activities this summer, showing the teens what it means to be an adult who truly cares about teens, their experiences, and their mental health. Tonye shared her powerful personal story and journey of what led her to become a mental health advocate with the teens, inspired and helped the teens to bring the Clothesline Project to CCS, and made herself available to meet individually with teens who requested support and mentoring on how they can start to share their own mental health stories.
Developmental research shows that having at least one caring adult in a child’s life is a key ingredient for the child to flourish and develop resilience. That may not sound like much, but you might be surprised how many children and teens do not feel like there is even one adult who genuinely cares about them for exactly who they are and exactly as they are and who is committed and dedicated to being there for them on a consistent basis. CCS challenges all of us to follow Tonye’s example and to be one caring adult for the children and teens in our international community. It really does matter and really does make a significant difference!
Inspired by Tonye Stuurman, the CCS Teen Mental Health Advocates has created a clothesline now here in Shanghai. You are all invited to be part of it!