“My family and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was in 5th grade and that was a huge transition for all of us. I dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety. When I was younger, I felt very alone dealing with those things. There’s been a lot of changes and a lot of different schools. In October, I started having a lot of mental health problems again, just a lot of PTSD, anxiety and flashbacks. It was really hard for me to function and again, it got to that emergency point. It was then that I went into Johnson County Mental Health and they set me up with their student clinic. It was free and it was really helpful. 

I think it’s important that we’re looking out for each other. We hear a lot of negative things in the news. There’s a lot of hate and division in general and I think, genuinely, the only way we can actively change anything and we can contribute is community – volunteer, help the people around you, make sure your neighbor is okay, check in on people you care about. Starting there and building up from there is how we make the bigger changes. I hope that as a society, we start moving towards that. And now, I can live a happy, healthy life and we can help others get there as well.” 

— Fatemeh