Mental illness is not a commonly discussed topic in Groveton. It is looked down upon, seen as “crazy” or “attention seeking.” I have seen it, and I have experienced it. Being isolated only further damages a person suffering from mental illness. Normalization is not the answer, either. “Everybody feels like that sometimes” or “I feel sad sometimes, too” are not helpful. They invalidate a person’s individual experience and make them feel ashamed for seeking help. But with all that in mind, there is some hope. I rest easy knowing I can always speak to one teacher at my school. Thank you, Mr. B, for assuring me that I am not alone, and that my feelings are valid. You are a savior, and you are my ally.

—Groveton High School