There’s a moment in my life I can point to and say that’s why I am studying to become a clinical mental health counselor.
I was a Junior in high school. A friend of mine was texting me while I was scrolling on my facebook page. I remember being on my dad’s desktop computer. My friend texted me something that didn’t sound right. He was apologizing for something that he said a few months back. Then he texted, “I don’t want to go on”.
My friend decided to take his life that day. He was not successful. I called a friend who then called a parent.
I didn’t talk about it for a few days. I don’t remember how long, but when I finally started to cry about it I was in the middle of a science class. No one knew what to say to me. I didn’t even know why I was crying. Now, I know why. I was the last person my friend talked to before he tried to end his life and I didn’t know how to help him.
I remember a mutual friend saying that what my friend did was extremely selfish. I think that comment disturbed me the most. That’s when I realized others didn’t understand the pain and complicated emotions that came with mental health issues.
A life experience like that defines a person. My friend grew up in a “good family”. He went to a youth group. He even said he was a Christian. And yet, he had so much pain in his life that he went to a dark place that late afternoon.
Mental health is a tool. It’s a tool to help you understand your emotions and your mind before you get to a dark place. It can help you after getting to that point too, however, the goal is to help you before you get to that point. And that’s why I knew what I wanted to do since age 17. I wanted to become a counselor/therapist. I want to help others who get to a dark place.
Maybe this isn’t your story. Maybe depression isn’t your story. However, I promise you may know someone or know of someone who has depression, anxiety or will struggle with their mental health in some form. Knowing more about mental health issues will make you a better friend, mother, brother, aunt, co-worker… and over all friend. This blog is to educate along with encouraging you to take care of your emotional health.
If you or a loved one is suicidal don’t hesitate to call 800-273-8255 and visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/