DETROIT (WXYZ) — With the new school year kicking off, parents and educators continue to face an important question; how to identify and address adolescent mental health needs.
A recent survey by CVS Health found that 78% of educators had been approached by a child about mental health concerns, compared to 58% of parents. But both, parents and teachers play key roles in helping a child with mental health issues.
Shannon is now studying to become a graphic designer while creating content for her Light Podcast on Youtube.
Metro Detroit-based Shannon Monet is an aspiring Youtuber and motivational speaker. The 16-year-old's content is all about helping those who are struggling.
"After going through everything I went through in school, I realized a couple of years later that I can help someone with my story and that my past can help someone have a future,' said Monet.
In 4th Grade, Shannon was bullied by her classmates. From racial slurs to isolation, the then 9-year-old back was hurt to the point where she even considered harming herself.
"I was the only black kid in my classroom, so it was very tough. I went through days sitting at the lunch table alone, walking alone when everyone else was playing in the playground," said Monet.
Shannon’s mom, Regina Mills initially didn’t notice her daughter’s struggles because Shannon would hide the pain, but slowly the trauma ate away the little girl’s fun, outgoing, bubbly nature.
"It was one particular day, I came into her room and I noticed she was a little sadder than usual and then I began to ask her questions," said Mills.
That’s when Regina knew she had to turn things around and empower her daughter.
""I am bold, I am confident, I am beautiful," she told me multiple things to say like even during car rides and at home. She built me up," said Monet.
Now, thanks to her mom, Shannon is in a different place. Helping and motivating others through her social media presence. As for the people who bullied her...
"I forgive them and I love them. I went through a lot, but if I didn’t go through that I wouldn't be here," said Monet.
Shannon revealed, some of the people who bullied her back then now follow her on social media but to this day have never apologized.
Meanwhile, even though Regina is super proud of her daughter for coming out stronger, she urges other parents to use Shannon's journey as a wake-up call and always stay connected with their children.
"Have talks with them on daily basis. Find out what's going on. A lot of kids will keep things inside but just look for a change of behavior if you see them sad or doing things out of the ordinary," said Mills.