@dorijchait an LCSW who will be heading up a new alliance we are adding: a #SameHere Student Alliance, bringing together the leaders from schools/universities we have met w & will continue to do so on these Sit-Down Tours.
Below, for the first time publicly, she openly shares some of her personal challenges – real and raw! Welcome, Dori!
Conversations break barriers. It is plain & simple. The older I get, the more I realize that engaging in real, honest, vulnerable conversation truly allows people & communities to connect & be supportive. People tend to deeply connect (even if there are disagreements) through sports, politics, careers, & hobbies. But unfortunately, more often than not, our emotions, feelings & overall mental health is not something that people freely talk about. Why not??!!
We all live on a mental health continuum & each & every single one of us is affected in various ways at different levels & at different times. Therefore, we should be screaming about it. SCREAMING.
We know that mental health is linked to school shootings, our national opioid crisis, suicides & increased depression & anxiety levels in our children. We need to be talking & listening more….to our children, our friends, our families, EACH OTHER.
This is where We Are All A Little ‘Crazy’ comes in. While we are all a little more aware of mental health issues than we were a decade ago, we, as a country, are still not talking enough. As I said, conversations break barriers & We Are All A Little ‘Crazy’ is helping people do just that.
So, in order to pledge my support even further to this cause (& because it’s also the day I am an official WAALC #SameHere team member), I am going to break a barrier in hopes that I start a conversation w one person, or a hundred. Throughout my lifetime, I have struggled w depression. I survived a major eating disorder in high school, w a relapse in college. I have a genetic predisposition to these things (they all run in my family) & I had social & emotional experiences that also led to these illnesses.
This isn’t what defines me but it certainly contributes to who I am today and because of that, I am really proud. I’ve been in a really good, stable place in my life for well over a decade and a half and I don’t take that for granted. I always remain vigilant and use my tools for maintenance (therapy, acupuncture, my support network). I talk when I’m moved and I talk when I’m inspired. So, when this opportunity came my way, I was both moved and inspired. But that’s what this is all about, right? Xoxo, Dori