Sydney was terrified to interact with people, til she found mental health support to deal with her anxiety.

Today, she helps kids just like her learn the skills they need to cope—and thrive.

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I have all sorts of tools to help me now.

In high school Sydney began to suffer from social anxiety and depression. She had difficulty talking to people, and was getting poor grades.

She spent most of her time after school sleeping, felt deeply isolated, and drank alcohol to cope with her feelings.

Sydney gained skills and strength to grow her mental wellness with help from a youth program that focused on music and talk therapy, with other kids her age experiencing similar challenges.

“It gave me insight into, you know, things aren’t as bad as they seem, and not all people are scary and awful.”

New doors opened in Sydney’s life as she gained insight and power over her anxieties.

“I can make new friends, I can have fun…if I were to sign up for something it wouldn’t be constant terror.”

Today Sydney, 18, volunteers with the same program that helped her, and would like a career where she can work with children that need mental health supports.

“I’m doing a lot better. I have all these tools to help me now, so it’s just much easier to get by.”

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Brandon on a bench at CEDA Pathways.

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