Why my own adolescent struggle made me support this important initiative

When I was a teenager, I had some pretty dark times and I almost didn’t make it to adulthood. That is why I have agreed to be a champion for a new initiative, Embrace at Telethon Kids Institute which is launching today.

Embrace is Western Australia’s first research centre devoted to the mental health of children and young people ages 0-25.

Please watch this video and join me to #SupportEmbrace

I invite you to do two things:

1. Please post a photo of a younger you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show your support for young people. Tag the photo @TelethonKids #SupportEmbrace

2. Please make a donation (however small) to the Embrace campaign, to support their fabulous team of researchers to do wonderful things. supportembrace.org.au

Let’s support our young people…
@TelethonKids #SupportEmbrace

#SupportEmbrace on Instagram

There are few heart aches that cannot be healed by a few hours slow stitching on the grass while listening to @kaseychambersmusic (she taught me all I know about life and love) ☆♡☆♡☆ well her and @shaniatwain and @adambrandofficial ☆ My first true love  and earliest concert memory - Albany Town Hall. 1998ish. Front row. Rhinestone skirt and black cowgirl hat. I knew alll the words. Until I ended up on stage and had the microphone in my face. All my dreams coming true in that little moment and I had practiced for days in the hope that he would notice me and take me on tour with him and marry me. I didn't quite understand that at 6 I probably wasn't old enough yet to be married. And I froze. I still remember sitting there. Lights blinding me. Trying to pull on all the brave I had. And I didn't know the words and I wanted to ball. I felt so ashamed and so exposed and such a failure. And @adambrandofficial put his hand on my shoulder and taught me the words. While I sat there in the realest shame shit storm of my little six year old life, watching what I thought was my one chance of ever being a singer pass me by, he reached down. Sat down on the stage. And taught me the lyrics. And everyone sang along and clapped and it was the best moment of my whole life. I went home and learnt all the words. Just in case an opportunity ever presented itself. And I dreamed. I sat on my bed and read every lyric book and learnt every song.  He never did come back for me. But that's okay. I had his songs to sing when I felt alone. And I remember it all like yesterday. 20 years ago. My first love and first heartache. A silly child. A dreamer. A deep feeler. I still fall in love with every beautiful voice I hear and cheer from the sidelines - you go you! And when I see a little me I say
There are few heart aches that cannot be healed by a few hours slow stitching on the grass while listening to @kaseychambersmusic (she taught me all I know about life and love) ☆♡☆♡☆ well her and @shaniatwain and @adambrandofficial ☆ My first true love and earliest concert memory - Albany Town Hall. 1998ish. Front row. Rhinestone skirt and black cowgirl hat. I knew alll the words. Until I ended up on stage and had the microphone in my face. All my dreams coming true in that little moment and I had practiced for days in the hope that he would notice me and take me on tour with him and marry me. I didn't quite understand that at 6 I probably wasn't old enough yet to be married. And I froze. I still remember sitting there. Lights blinding me. Trying to pull on all the brave I had. And I didn't know the words and I wanted to ball. I felt so ashamed and so exposed and such a failure. And @adambrandofficial put his hand on my shoulder and taught me the words. While I sat there in the realest shame shit storm of my little six year old life, watching what I thought was my one chance of ever being a singer pass me by, he reached down. Sat down on the stage. And taught me the lyrics. And everyone sang along and clapped and it was the best moment of my whole life. I went home and learnt all the words. Just in case an opportunity ever presented itself. And I dreamed. I sat on my bed and read every lyric book and learnt every song. He never did come back for me. But that's okay. I had his songs to sing when I felt alone. And I remember it all like yesterday. 20 years ago. My first love and first heartache. A silly child. A dreamer. A deep feeler. I still fall in love with every beautiful voice I hear and cheer from the sidelines - you go you! And when I see a little me I say "never let the critics tell you that you are anything other than you. You are unique. Beautiful. And you have a story to tell. Tell it in your own words. Never let them try and tell it for you. Sing your own songs. Don't go for the quick cash. The reality show. It will take what is you and throw it on the ground. Forge your own path. And whatever stage you find yourself on. Sing." #supportembrace
INFLUENCER ENGAGEMENT | 
We liaised with 75 influencers to launch Telethon Kids Institute Embrace program, Australia’s first comprehensive research centre focused on mental health from aged 0 - 25 year olds. 💫 
Embrace brings together researchers, clinicians, service providers and the community in a collaborative effort to find new strategies and tools to address alarming rates of mental health issues in children and young people.

Our job was to help create partnerships , such as @camcranley, to share an experience from their childhood where they may have felt vulnerable, to raise awareness about mental health and highlight what young people are going through today. 
We loved being apart of #supportembrace and help start a conversation about such a relevant issue in today's society. 🌟
INFLUENCER ENGAGEMENT | We liaised with 75 influencers to launch Telethon Kids Institute Embrace program, Australia’s first comprehensive research centre focused on mental health from aged 0 - 25 year olds. 💫 Embrace brings together researchers, clinicians, service providers and the community in a collaborative effort to find new strategies and tools to address alarming rates of mental health issues in children and young people.
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Our job was to help create partnerships , such as @camcranley, to share an experience from their childhood where they may have felt vulnerable, to raise awareness about mental health and highlight what young people are going through today. We loved being apart of #supportembrace and help start a conversation about such a relevant issue in today's society. 🌟
Cohen was one of 8 Year 12 ATAR students at his school. The week leading up to his death he sat his exams for the 4 ATAR subjects he was doing. In those exams he wrote things that had nothing to do with his exams, he drew pictures, he rewrote questions, he rewrote questions back to front, he wrote other things, things that should have rang alarm bells for his teachers. Not one teacher rang us to tell us. We as his family saw no signs, hints, changes in his behaviour, nothing in that week leading up to his passing, we had no idea that Cohen was suffering as much as he was. But his school did. They did nothing. He was failing and they said nothing. He wrote things in his exams that are so troubling and the school did nothing. He was writing things that were screams for help and they did nothing. There is so much more to this but for now this is all we can share. As you can imagine we are beyond upset and outraged that his school did nothing. This is why it is so important for the Coroner to hold an inquest into our son’s death, so things can be implemented for change. This is why it is in the public’s best interest that an inquest is held. This is why we are trying to raise money so we are adequately prepared and supported by our lawyer. This is why we are trying to be our son’s voice. We won’t let him down as others have. 
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Go Fund Me, we can never thank you enough #thumbsup4cohen #myson #mychild #myboy #mybaby #hemattered #everychildmatters #everychild #suicide #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #highschool #letdown #failed #beyondblue #headspace #lifeline #kidshelpline #warnbro #mindmatters #supportembrace #awareness #loss #love #brother #sibling #friend #boyfriend #atar
Cohen was one of 8 Year 12 ATAR students at his school. The week leading up to his death he sat his exams for the 4 ATAR subjects he was doing. In those exams he wrote things that had nothing to do with his exams, he drew pictures, he rewrote questions, he rewrote questions back to front, he wrote other things, things that should have rang alarm bells for his teachers. Not one teacher rang us to tell us. We as his family saw no signs, hints, changes in his behaviour, nothing in that week leading up to his passing, we had no idea that Cohen was suffering as much as he was. But his school did. They did nothing. He was failing and they said nothing. He wrote things in his exams that are so troubling and the school did nothing. He was writing things that were screams for help and they did nothing. There is so much more to this but for now this is all we can share. As you can imagine we are beyond upset and outraged that his school did nothing. This is why it is so important for the Coroner to hold an inquest into our son’s death, so things can be implemented for change. This is why it is in the public’s best interest that an inquest is held. This is why we are trying to raise money so we are adequately prepared and supported by our lawyer. This is why we are trying to be our son’s voice. We won’t let him down as others have. Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Go Fund Me, we can never thank you enough #thumbsup4cohen #myson #mychild #myboy #mybaby #hemattered #everychildmatters #everychild #suicide #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #highschool #letdown #failed #beyondblue #headspace #lifeline #kidshelpline #warnbro #mindmatters #supportembrace #awareness #loss #love #brother #sibling #friend #boyfriend #atar