*please note some of the content in this blog could be confronting and please seek help if this impacts you (see below as this is critical) or reach out to my team at LeadershipHQ.
Imagine coming home from work and seeing your child cutting her arms and legs.
Imagine calling an ambulance hysterically needing help as your daughter tries to commit suicide for the third time., Imagine calling every hospital, counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist around the state only to be told we can't really support teenagers and people under 18 years old or going to hospital 30 times, Imagine having to go to work because you are the only one who can put food on the table and a roof over our heads and the heart-breaking guilt of it because you need to make money and you have no one who can help. You leave for work not knowing what will happen when you return home to the most precious person in the world.
Imagine your child being so depressed and anxious that she leaves school at 14 years old as the PTSD is beyond deliberating. We couldn't even get support and help from the school who didn't want to know about it.
Imagine this chain of events being due to severe bullying at school and online because people you trust and care about decide to tear you down, hassle you online, attack you because you are different and kind.
This was my daughter. The heart breaking guilt, heartache and grief was unbearable. Not as unbearable as what she went through. Today she is doing more than okay and she is the most courageous person I know. Today she studies social work and I believe she would be Prime Minister with her convictions, courage and kindness. It took a lot of work and courage for her to get to where she is today.
There I was not only as her mother and guide who lives and breaths the leadership, courage and kindness space for so many and I couldn't help her. I couldn't help her...it took every ounce of courage I had inside of me to love and help her.
Thing is and I know many many children who are and have gone through something similar and so many parents and guardians who have or are experiencing the same grief - it happens too often and not only with our precious children but as adults in the workplace and online as well.
The bullying, tearing and pulling each other down...the yelling and screaming....the fear cultures....really? Why does this have to happen ,Why is this still happening?,Why?
Can we not see how our words, actions and choices truly impact others?
It is heartbreaking and unnecessary.
We are all someone's child and we are all human beings with the right to be shown love, kindness, empathy, compassion and respect.
In turn, this bullying and tearing each other down which is so prevalent on social media and on our news and media sites and platforms that our youth and future generations and leaders are seeing this. Do you not think this impacts them? We do what we see...
The impact this has on anyone's mental well-being can be truly destructive. Please stop this.
Why am I sharing this?
I wanted you to know you are not alone and we will continue be truly vulnerable, authentically share and courageous fight to overcome this behaviour and lack of leadership.
We will do everything in our power to build and create a world of kind, courageous and inclusive leaders and leadership. Also this is why I and we are so passionate to teenage and youth mental well-being. This is why we work love working with corporates, businesses, schools and universities building great leaders of today and tomorrow.
Leadership is the key. It starts with us.
This is also the catalyst for us to launch and build the Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and Courage Conference as we want to shine a light on the leadership needed today and beyond - these are our movement. We need more examples of great, kind and courageous leadership so our youth and generations of today and tomorrow can be inspired and know there is hope. We would love you to nominate and support these Awards and this conference with the amazing Christine Holgate and Paul Scurrah - and I am speaking as well about Courage and Kindness and our new model Courage Intelligence.
Don't we want our generations of the future to see these leaders and leadership?
I want our children - yours and mine - to see that there are people out there who lead with the type of empathy, kindness and compassion today that makes a difference to this world.
We do what we see. We want the world to see kindness and courage.
Finally my love and heart goes out to anyone who has encountered or has a love one who has encountered bullying and mental health challenges due to poor leadership, words and actions - please know you are braver and stronger than you think and there is help and support out there. Places like Your Town, LifeLine, Headspace and Beyond Blue are amazing and wonderful supports. Please ask for help and have the courage to not accept or walk pass this behaviour.... I promise when you ask for help and when you overcome anything this - it will make you so much stronger. Reach out and always be kind to yourself.
Love and kindness always Sonia x