As a former teacher, I saw a great need for children and adolescents to receive counseling. Many are burdened by trauma, anxiety, and other issues which impede their learning. One situation involving a former student stands out to me. He had witnessed domestic violence prior to coming to school in the morning. He was emotional and struggling to come into the classroom. I sat outside and tried to help him unpack the situation, but as a classroom teacher with nineteen other unsupervised students in the classroom, the situation was far from ideal. Having counseling services available for him and other struggling students would be beneficial in so many ways. I am also passionate about mental health issues because of some struggles that I watched my nephew walk through. Feeling helpless and unable to help him with his challenges motivated me to move into a position where I could help other families struggling with mental health concerns.
The need for mental health services in our homes, schools, and communities has definitely become more acute in the past few years. I am passionate about helping families learn to be proactive about family wellness and mental health in an effort to mediate the severity of depressive and anxious symptoms before they impair daily life functioning and relationships.
Every class that I have taken at BLC has a focus on integrating faith into the counseling process in some way. This world is full of darkness, hardship, and strife. Sharing the light of the Gospel message with the hurting is not only encouraged through the problem, but we practice how to do so (of course, only with the client’s consent). I also love that there is a mix between online and in person meetings. I felt that being able to meet members of my cohort in person and do some in person counseling was a valuable part of this program.
There have been so many moments in my classes that have been “a-ha” moments. From learning about brain chemistry and science that has led me to better understand my students’ perspectives, to looking at the suffering in the world and clients’ lives through a spiritual lens, so many things have been eye-opening and fascinating to me. I feel that we are always encouraged to evaluate the course material given and consider how it affects us as future counselors.
I pray that it will allow me to help schools and families in my community to value mental wellness, and work to improve the systems in place to make sure that no student falls through the cracks in receiving mental health services. I hope to work with Christian churches and schools to provide counseling services in such a way that they would be an opportunity to share the Gospel message of healing with those who are lost and struggling. I hope to become a better model of wellness within my own family as well.