About Samantha U’Ren, Author of Mental Health for the Digital Generation

March 20, 2014 Samantha U'Ren

Hello, my name is Samantha U’Ren and I am a 22-year-old college student who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. I enjoy going to the gym, thrift shopping, and trying to live as much of a “normal” life as possible. I am also pleased to announce that I am the new blogger for the Mental Health for the Digital Generation blog.

Being in college is challenging; I think everyone can agree to that. However, my journey through college is a little different because I am a recovering alcoholic who also suffers from major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

"At Least You Found Out Early”

Living in an era where we are 1 tweet away from disaster poses challenges for mental health. Samantha U'Ren explains there is hope for the digital generation.I hear this all the time. Many people come up to me in alcoholic recovery meetings and tell me how lucky I am to have started dealing with my problems at such a young age. “If only they figured everything out early,” they would say. And, honestly, I am very grateful for this.

However, as a young person in recovery, things can be complicated by social media and social pressures, which older generations haven’t had to experience. Having depression and anxiety alone can be very painful, let alone being complicated by substance abuse in a world where privacy is a thing of the past. We are just one share, retweet, post, or re-pin away from our personal life being forever on the Internet.

There is Hope for Mental Health in the Digital Generation

My goal is to show others that there is happiness in recovery, and that life is not over when you choose not to drink or do drugs. Your mental illness or addiction does not have to define who you are, and it does not have to control your life. I want to give hope to those who are afraid to reach out for help, and to help young addicts realize that life can be fun without alcohol or drugs. I am going to share my experience, strength, and hope with you guys and I am looking forward to reading your comments. Our generation is blessed to have access to so much information at our fingertips. We have the ability to help end the negative stigma that is associated with mental illness and addictions, and that is my purpose with this blog.

You can find Samantha U'Ren on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

APA Reference
U'Ren, S. (2014, March 20). About Samantha U’Ren, Author of Mental Health for the Digital Generation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Samantha U'Ren

March, 20 2014 at 11:16 am

Great job Samantha!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Samantha U'Ren
March, 20 2014 at 2:38 pm

Thank you very much Laura!

Doreen and Mark Patterson
March, 20 2014 at 2:39 pm

We read your message and wanted to let you know that we are so proud of you. You are so brave to speak out about mental health and addiction. Your message serves to give young people the hope and courage they need to reach out and get the help they need to overcome their mental health illness and/or addiction. The stigma that has always been associated with mental illness is being broken down everyday by individuals like yourself that are finding the strength and courage to speak out.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Samantha U'Ren
March, 20 2014 at 2:42 pm

Hi Mark and Doreen,
Thank you so much! My goal with this blog is to help teens and young adults recognize that they are not alone in recovery. I want to share my story, and hopefully inspire someone who is afraid to get help. Mental illness and addiction have a negative stigma and it is by raising awareness that the stigma can slowly diminish. Thank you for your comment, and stay tuned for future posts!

Laura & Barry Blair
March, 21 2014 at 4:10 am

Dear Sam;
Your Poppi & I are so proud of you and so very overwellmed with your courage in accepting and sharing your experience with the secrecy of mental health awareness & addictions.If anyone can help break down that barrier,you can.Be proud of yourself Sam.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Samantha U'Ren
March, 21 2014 at 6:03 am

Thank you so much! My goal is to help break down the barriers one day at a time. I post every Thursday, so stay tuned!

March, 22 2014 at 6:58 am

"There is hope for Mental health in the digital generation". Wow. That says it all. There IS hope. Thank you for sharing that. As the Moderator for the Parents of Depressed Teens Yahoo Support Group, I hear the stories from parents about their teens/young adult family members who struggle with not only the stigma of standing up and saying "I have depression/anxiety", but of trying to stay healthy when there is so much pressure to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. If depression was diagnosable with a blood test that would give you the exact name/dose of the medication to keep you out of the black pit of hell, it would (I think) make the journey easier. But it isn't. People who don't "have" depression and anxiety disorders don't "GET" what you are going through and just how hard it is. (If you have a headache, you take a pill and expect the headache to go away within an hour. If you have depression/anxiety - you get to take medication that MIGHT work in 6 weeks, or it might not. Then you have to try another round of medication if it doesn't is NOT easy to cope with! You are not alone in your struggle with alcohol, even though I am sure that there have been many times where you felt alone.) I applaud you with all my heart for standing up and raising awareness through sharing your journey. It is hard. I wish that you didn't have to go through it. But I know that your journey, and your willingness to share it online for the world, WILL help someone else. It WILL give someone else hope. Thank you for doing this.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Samantha U'Ren
March, 24 2014 at 2:45 am

Hi Shelagh,
Thank you for the kind words. I am trying to break down the negative barriers and make it more "acceptable" to talk about mental health and addiction issues. The younger generation are able to change how society views mental health and substance abuse, so that is what I am trying to do with this blog. Stay tuned this Thursday for my next post!

Ken Stephen
March, 24 2014 at 1:36 am

Incredible are an amazing young woman!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Samantha U'Ren
March, 24 2014 at 2:33 am

Thank you! Trying to end the stigma one day at a time. Stay tuned for my next post this Thursday!

Gord Hynes
March, 26 2014 at 10:34 am

Way to go, Sam. Bravo Zulu (as we say in the Navy)
So young and so inspired to be so inspiring to all your peers (Longtimers too!)
I wish you continued success in your efforts to reach out to your fellow sufferers.
Keep on bloggin'

April, 24 2014 at 4:27 am

keep inspiring us, cheering you on!

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