Mental Illness in Young Adults – The Lesson

Do you know where you were when you heard that Robin Williams had died?

I do. I felt like I had lost a family friend. Back in the day when TV meant something, Robin was a breath of fresh air, even on Happy Days.

Mental illness in young adults affects so many families and yet so few feel safe talking about it.

He even made the Fonz look cooler. Then there was Mork and Mindy. His Johnny Carson appearances, including being one of the last two guests to be on Carson’s show.

Robin’s love of Jonathan Winters helped a whole new generation learn about a brilliant, improvisational comedian who had a great influence on Robin. From The World According to Garp, The Fisher King, Good Morning Vietnam to Aladdin, Robin grew and brought us along with him with kindness, humility and a never-ending well of creativity.

Then one of my troubled teen’s parents said to me:

“You know, Robin seemed a lot like your clients” and it hit me. He did seem a lot like my clients. Creative people. Sensitive people. People struggling with life. Some with Aspergers. Some with Bipolar or other mental health issues but they had one advantage that Robin did not (I really wasn’t going to say me, please)… they had not learned how to succeed in life. They were stuck and nothing before our work had worked. The work which did help them was being mentored to use their talents to rise above their challenges. To have a mentor that could discuss their private fears free of the “real world”, friends and family. That is sorely needed when dealing with mental illness in young adults; an impartial ear.

Of course, this made me happy and hopeful for my clients but very, very sad for my lost family friend. Robin. Through his successes, his genius, his drive to push himself into new territories, Robing played the old magician’s trick of misdirection. We were looking at the wrong hand while the other was suffering.

There are three things I will take away from this.

1) Those who can should decide right now to mentor our troubled Millenials. Millenials with addictions, those with anxiety, those with mental illness and those with learning challenges.

2) We must be ever-vigilant to also mentor the Millenials who seem to be successful but underneath the surface are also suffering. Those with the same issues and more who are good at misdirection

3) In a world filled with divisions, hatred, war, gatherings of people wishing to cut off the head of democracy, we must counter that with love for all people, find those young adults who might fall under the thrall of hatred and calls to war and help these Millenials to find how to be great from their powers of kindness, grace and charity. Honor the differences. Mental illness in young adults is not the end, it’s a call to action to help find their greatness beyond the labels.

Here is what I promise to do.

To help mentor young adults with mental illness, I intend to train 1000 mentors by the year 2020, to help young people, focusing on young adults in inner cities and underdeveloped nations to offer the three things I have just mentioned. This I so vow.

Interested in mentoring young adults with mental illness? Click here.

If your child is in serious mental health crisis, please look into it immediately. This link is a good staring place. Click here. When things are more settled, life coaching can be a great addition to a complete program.

365 Mentoring Moments

As a Life Empowerment Coach/Mentor, my job is to help young people find their personal success when they have only had people focus on what was “wrong” with them in the past. 365 Mentoring moments is a companion daily exercise to the 1 Minute Meditations, based on the same weekly form and connected to my different articles that ultimately work with my 13 Chapter Book “The Slacker’s Guide to Success”.

Try them! They really change the dynamic in a family and they’re direct from whatever it is that inspires me… Ken

The Daily Themes:

Friday: Observe Something Special
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Share A Meal
Monday: Communication – You Listen
Tuesday: Generativity (adding something meaningful to your day)
Wednesday: Communication – You Share
Thursday: Free For All! (Whatever floats your boat – spiritually 🙂

This week’s Mentoring Moments:

Week 3 – Picking new things to do:

Friday: Do something together like painting, or making models or something with play-dough
Saturday See how long you can both keep silent with nothing on. Just looking at each other.
Sunday: Try a new game with your child that involves music
Monday: Let you child teach you about one of their favorite foods and you do the same.
Tuesday: Ask you child to talk about one interesting thing they witnessed today. Be patient while they try to find it.
Wednesday: Let you child know which strangers are ok to be friendly with.
Thursday: Ask your child to tell you something special about someone in your family.

Week 1 – Investigation

Friday: Catch your child doing something right.
Saturday: Let go of criticizing, commenting, judging and just look for the good in your child
Sunday: Let your child teach you a recipe and have them guide you. Follow their direction as though you were the student and they were the teacher.
Monday: Listen for anything your child says that is positive and comment on how it makes you feel.
Tuesday: Be generative by adding one thing in your day that isn’t what you “have” to do but what makes life better.
Wednesday: Share your thoughts on a world event and how it can make the world a better place.
Thursday: Watch something your child loves that you couldn’t be paid to watch and see it through their eyes.

Week 2: Judging and Judgment-Free

Friday,Observe something special in nature today and share it with your child.

Sat:Let your child do stuff for themselves today and comment on what parts of it showed intention.

Sun:Share a favorite food of your child’s and invite them to explain what they like about it. Be OK with “Idunno”.

Mon: Listen for what makes your child laugh. Appreciate their humour.

Tue: Be generative today by nurturing something that grows. A pet. A plant or just really hug a tree. (blame me if someone sees you ☺ Tell your child what you did and how it felt.

Wed: Share a moving time from your childhood that you have never told your child before.

Thur: Sing a song! Loud. With all your heart. With all your soul and if someone disses your singing just tell them that they missed the point.

More to come!

1 Minute Meditations

Life is hectic (big shock, I know)
If we can stop for even one moment a day and focus on something greater than our “to-do” list, we can start to let our best nature have a chance to flow into every aspect of our lives.

One minute meditations are based on a weekly plan. Each day has a theme. The meditations can take as little as one minute and can be repeated throughout the day. To make them more profound, share a thought with us on which one touched you and how you used it.

I use these with some of my clients as a springboard for meditation and to get my clients “out of their heads and into their hearts”.

The Daily Themes:
Friday: Observe Something Special
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Share A Meal
Monday: Communication – You Listen
Tuesday: Generativity (adding something meaningful to your day)
Wednesday: Communication – You Share
Thursday: Free For All! (Whatever floats your boat – spiritually 🙂

One Minute Meditations

Week 1 – Investigation
Friday: Pay attention to how often you use the word “no” during the day and replace it when you can with “yes”!
Saturday: Want to change your life? Take five minutes – empty your mind and …wait
Sunday: At meal time share something you’ve done this week that was positive.
Monday: Stop! Look them in the eyes and let them finish what they are saying. They will feel really heard.
Tuesday: The first step in changing your life is doing something good for yourself daily and keeping track of it
Wednesday: Eliminate one fear by letting someone know one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses
Thursday: You can be great at almost anything once you get past perfectionism

Week 2 – Judging and Judgment-Free

Friday: Catch your child doing something right
Saturday: Change starts by doing 5 minutes a day of good stuff and building on it
Sunday: Let your child cook tonight. Be their sous-chef
Monday: Just for today, when your child speaks take in their words history-free
Tuesday: Start a change jar to give to some coins to charity. Put some in whenever you feel thankful
Wednesday: Do a random act of kindness and share it with your family.
Thursday: Don’t just read stuff on the internet – do something in real life! Now!

Sharing Your Old-Fashioned Passions With Your New-Aged Kids


What if you could future-proof your child?
Get him or her ready for a time when everything we know will have changed. Where practically all the jobs we now know of will be gone and will be replaced with jobs in fields we cannot even conceive of in today’s world. And what if I told you that this scenario may come to pass in the next 10 years?

Ever heard of nanotechnology?
How about molecular manufacturing, singularity in the 21st century or tipping points in the biosphere? They are real ideas right now. Some will become what they promise to become and others will fade away. You can be sure that something from left field will change the course of everything we know again… and again with regularity and greater frequency.

How do we inspire our children in such an ever changing, unknown world?

To read more click here