"The SBHC is a lot better for me."

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School-health network combats depression 

"I was going through a really rough patch in my life at the beginning of the school year and dealing with some family problems and depression. I was afraid of who I was becoming, and my friends were worried about me and helped push me to connect with the counseling office at my school.

"It was there that I connected with Bob (a licensed clinical social worker) and Alisha (nurse and coordinator) who work out of the school-based health center (SBHC). He did an evaluation for depression and started working with me so I could get the help I needed.

"Within my family, there is a lot of pressure and stress. They think I just want attention and want me to push through to get over it. They don’t really understand depression and it’s hard for me to talk to them.

"I’ve tried working with other counselors outside of the school, but I didn’t have a great experience. I felt diminished, like they wouldn’t listen. Their advice just didn’t seem to apply to me and they wanted to just put me on some medication.

"Honestly, the SBHC is a lot better for me. They really see me as a person and they listen. They don’t judge me and they are always willing to talk. It’s a really safe place for me, and I’m in at least once per week, but I stop in and say hello every day.

"The help I’ve gotten through the SBHC makes me feel like a huge weight has been released from me. I used to be kind of a loner, crying every night, shut off from the world, and not knowing how to deal with life.

"I’m so much happier and a lot more open minded. I’m a lot more ready to start my life and feel like I’m able to get through. I love music and the violin, and I also love forensics and I’m already making plans for college. But, I guarantee… visit my SBHC and you’ll love it. You’ll see what I mean!"

-C.C.J. is a sophomore at Pendleton High School in Umatilla County