Shawntay Rose Dann
At 11 years old, Shawntay Rose felt different. She was bullied at school and faced suicidal thoughts, but when she talked about it with her mother, those around her thought that she was just trying to get attention. Yet Shawntay Rose had been living with these thoughts for a long time. She felt misunderstood and unheard. So she decided to discuss it with someone she trusted at school, her guidance counsellor. Finally, Shawntay Rose felt she had someone she could confide in who had a sympathetic ear and, for the first time, she was able to shed the burden she’d been carrying.
Shawntay Rose got the support of a team of professionals who prescribed a medication to help manage her mental health issues. However, it did not have the desired effect. Determined, Shawntay Rose sought out alternative solutions that might help her feel better. She signed up for artistic activities and found great pleasure in painting and dance. Today, she has the support and ear of her mother, who has come to better understand the difficulties her daughter was experiencing. Shawntay Rose said it best herself, “No one is ever too young or too old to learn something new or change their perspective.” With this in mind, she has since begun talking to students and teachers in schools, advocating awareness and education around mental health above all. Based on her experience, when these tools are implemented, people are more inclined to understand what others are going through. This is one of her greatest wishes, and she works tirelessly at it every day.