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Doug’s 2-minute statement on Score One for Mental Wellness contest

I've seen cabinet ministers looking stressed in this chamber, and I know there can be some anxiety among many members getting up to speak in this House. Luckily for most of us, that stress and anxiety isn't debilitating, but for many it is, and the trend is especially of concern in young people. Today's teenagers report being significantly more anxious than their mothers and fathers were at the same age. Those are just a couple aspects of mental wellness challenges young people face.

We also know that a staggering 3.2 million teens in Canada are at risk for developing depression. But young people can learn from each other about mental wellness, and there can be methods and supports to improve mental health. That is why we have a new theme for the annual contest we run from our Stikine MLA offices, teaming up with Dan Hamhuis of the Vancouver Canucks each year. It's called "Score One for Mental Wellness."

Young people in Stikine between the ages of 13 and 18 can enter by submitting a 500-word essay on one or more of the following topics: How do you take care of your mental health? How do you see others taking care of their mental health? How do you help others struggling with mental health?

The winner, chosen by a panel of community-based judges, will get a couple of tickets to a Canucks game, return airfare, accommodation and some great Canucks swag, thanks to our sponsors Dan Hamhuis, Hawkair, the Royal Bank, the Town of Smithers, the Gitksan Government Commission and the RCMP.

Contests in previous years have gone under the titles Don't Let Gangs Score, Don't Let Apathy Score, Don't Let Cyber Bullies Score and Don't Let Intolerance Score. There have been some very inspiring entries. This year's entries can be e-mailed, delivered or mailed to the Stikine constituency offices. We will post the winning essay on my MLA website. Contestants have until March 13 to enter, so put your thoughts together and score one for mental wellness.