“ I shouldn’t need therapy. I could figure things out on my own. I didn’t want to ask for help and besides, I didn’t really need help. What I was going through wasn’t that bad compared to other people. We’d had a mental health unit in class, but we only discussed diagnoses, not feelings.
The day came, and I was terrified. My hands were sweating as I inched into a tiny parking space outside her office. Inside, I eyed the hot water dispenser and paper cups, my throat dry as I looked around the waiting room, trying to not stare. I followed the therapist down the long hallway to a bright room filled with scattered toys and La Croix cans. She offered me a drink. I froze, feeling like a burden if I accepted and feeling guilty if I didn’t. She asked why I decided to come in. I stumbled over my words, trying to find the right ones, finally letting it spill out how much I despised school.”
I love the Opt Ed section of the paper. I believe we all need to write at least one letter on something we’re passionate about in our lifetime. In saying that, I applaud this reader, for writing and sharing her experience it is worth the time to read Student Voices | Access to mental health resources should be a fundamental right for students in its entirety, and share it with the young adults in your life.
Reading the above paragraphs in particular stood out to me. I want to assure this young woman that she is an individual, so she should not compare herself to others. I want to assure this young woman what she is going through is important to her, and not to measure herself up against anyone else’s experience. So own that and seek help. I want to let this young woman know that no one therapist can fit all boxes. My clients are often surprised I do not have a couch, I don’t guide them into conversation, and that I do not take a ton of notes. I also want to applaud her school for having a mental health unit. I encourage her and others to speak up, and to ask “What does this feel and /or look like?” because I can guarantee you if you’re thinking it someone else in your class is thinking this as well. It is my hope this class is a safe space for students to learn and grow.