In this day and age, teenagers may think their voice may never be heard, and that their opinion is not important when compared to that of an adult.
What most teens don’t realize, though, is that they have a lot of power to dream big, and accomplish anything they set their mind to. A teen like this lives right in our Marco Island community. Tristan Ashby, 16, a student and one of my close classmates at Marco Island Academy, has started something our community has probably never seen before.
Back in April, Tristan decided it was time for him to do something about a topic with which our society struggles but rarely speaks about, and thus he formed a non-profit organization known as Teens Conquering SelfHarm (TCSH). Sadly, self-harm is growing among teenagers. Tristan knows this first hand, as one of his closest friends has struggled with self-harm, and he wanted to help those in need.
TCSH is about raising awareness for self-harm in teenagers to many adults who may not even know it exists. There are many causes of self-harm, and it is seen as a way to ease psychological pain when one cannot cope with it in healthy ways. Those struggling can suffer from bullying, a broken home life, body image issues, loneliness, rejection — the list goes on and on. Teens may not always feel comfortable asking for help from an adult who knows very little about the subject. That’s why it’s important to educate those unaware.
In forming TCSH, Tristan has high hopes for this organization. “Eventually, i’d like to set up groups where kids that all deal with the same thing can be accepted and receive help.” In April, Tristan raised more than $400 in a fundraiser garage sale for TCSH. Since then, he has been working hard to gain supporters, and has the group’s next fundraiser planned for within a month or so. “Right now it’s just me and my parents,” Tristan stated about who helps run the non-profit organization. Other students at MIA also have been involved and helpful to TCSH. It’s great what a group of students can do in a short amount of time.
Teens Conquering Self-Harm is an amazing organization with a great cause. I encourage anyone wanting to spread awareness about the subject of self-harm to get involved. You can start by attending an upcoming meeting for anyone who wants to be apart of TCSH, Sat., Sept. 15, at the Fifth Third bank on San Marco Road at 10:00 AM. Anyone wanting to get involved right away can contact Tristan Ashby by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also show your support by liking the TCSH Teens Conquering Self Harm Facebook page and following on instagram, @teensconqueringselfharm.