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Kyles Story

Kyle's Story: A mother's perspective on youth mental health

My son Kyle is a 17 year old autistic transgender boy who has been struggling with mental health issues for some time.

During the pandemic, things really came to a head with Kyle. He started to talk about committing suicide. 

We knew in the pit of our stomach that he was serious and needed urgent professional help. We live three hours from Halifax and the specialized mental health care he would need. With our son's mental health in the spotlight, we thought no more and we made the trip. 

Kyle was immediately admitted to the Acute Inpatient Mental Health Centre at the IWK. I cried the whole way home, knowing I was leaving my struggling baby so far behind.

In the beginning, we would make the trip on Fridays and Sundays , bringing Kyle home for the weekends.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t doing well. He is just one of those kids who needs his mom present! He needed to be home, especially amidst the added anxiety of the pandemic. 

After consultation with the mental health professionals, Kyle was offered the option of at-home, virtual care. Imagine - virtual, world class mental health care, right from the comfort of our home and while at school, in rural Nova Scotia. Not only was Kyle given virtual care, but my husband and I also had once weekly sessions to learn ways we could help. We cherished those appointments, and we grew as a family as we learned life skills and strategies to help Kyle. 

Being in this program helped our family learn coping skills and stress management. For the first time in my life, I learned about behaviours behind emotions. It was life changing. 

Before long, our entire family put into action all that we were learning through virtual care. Now, one year later, Kyle is truly feeling better. He feels comfortable talking about his journey and mental health. It’s been like magic! We are so thrilled to have Kyle at home and feeling healthy. Now, every night when I go to say goodnight, I no longer find him rolled into a ball struggling to cope with the stress of the world around him, but instead ready for his good night hug from mom.