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The Simple Act of Asking for Help Is the First Step Towards Mental Wellness

By Jeanne Neuwirth, LCSW, Pathways Clinician An auditorium buzzing with teenagers quieted to an attentive audience as Kristen Harootunian shared her journey through a painful childhood to now being in a mentally positive place as a young adult. Kristen works with Minding Your Mind, an organization whose mission is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues. She was invited to Carteret High School as a guest of the school’s Pathways School Based Youth Services Program. Kristen shared that her struggles grew out of her mother’s years of alcoholism and devastating loss to suicide. While students may or may not have been touched by those particular struggles, most people have experienced times when they “felt alone, felt scared...one thing we all have in common is feelings, and you may identify with those feelings,” she said. Throughout her teenage years, she struggled with anxiety and depression, which worsened because she did...
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