"All they have to do is go to the SBHC."

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YAC and SBHC reach young people in need

"I am a former member of the YAC team at Eagle Point High School, and this is a summary of the reasons I joined the team so willingly, as well as the benefits that I got out of being a part of this team. Immediately, the first thing I noticed was the interaction with the younger students (me being a senior and hence the oldest) was mired with a bit more than the normal amount of bashfulness that accompanies interactions with people of different grades. By the third meeting, younger students began to be less self-conscious, as did I, and this allowed us to be more productive in our planning, and discussions. I can’t help but to think that the people that attended these meetings benefited from their increased ability to be comfortable with older students, as well as the school staff.

"Aside from allowing us students an opportunity to get comfortable with ourselves interacting with older or younger people as equals, we benefited morally from the messages we were spreading. So many teens have an incredibly hard time finding the motivation to do anything, and I am no exception; this group however was a great way for me to feel like I was helping the world, even if it was simply telling a depressed or over-stressed kid that if they need a moment to themselves, or even more serious counseling to help their view on life all they have to do is go to the SBHC (school-based health center) and assistance will be given freely. When I see 'the look' on other people’s faces, I realize that so many people are seriously suffering, but refuse to convey it to others. I know how this feels, and I know how hard it is to ask for help. I almost let myself slip away a few years ago to depression, but the pain got so bad that I went to the SBHC and found out that they have a counselor. This counselor was able to regularly see me, and after years of intense suppression of my negative emotions in school he proved to be a great person to vent to.

"There was nothing too complicated about what happened, we simply talked and discussed why I felt what I did. I had no great revelations; I was simply able to talk out all of my pent up stresses and with them properly on the table I was able to evaluate what I really needed. My point is that I was literally tearing myself apart from the inside out and nobody noticed until it got really bad, and even then they only thought that it was something mild. We teens are great liars, especially to ourselves. We rarely get an opportunity to freely express ourselves so we rarely realize the bigger picture of what is going on in our minds. Even when I was in with the counselor I resented myself for being so weak, and it was only after a year's worth of visits that I was able to not hold a grudge against myself for being so “emotionally weak."

"At the end of the day, the only reason that we slip through the cracks and into our own depression is the thought that it is our own fault, but nothing could be farther than the truth. This team allowed me to help other kids, and even adults to realize what they need to do to be content with themselves; often times this is simply being able to lose themselves to their deeper emotions without feeling shame. You cannot be a productive member of an intimate relationship without being able to express ALL of your emotions without any thought to weather this emotion is 'socially acceptable' or not. A part of this is being able to admit that you need help, and with people like the YAC team members out there telling them that all we want to do is help, we hope that they will be strong enough to accept it."

Daniel Hinkle
Former Youth Advisory Council member
Eagle Point High School