Depression can steal everything that you love. Depression doesn’t ask permission or quietly exit when it takes what it wants. It lingers and invades everything that you think about, do, and create. It becomes a wall that most people think is too high to even attempt to climb. As an educator at New Haven, I have experienced first-hand the effects that depression has on a student’s ability to learn and how high the wall of depression can feel to many girls.
“How am I supposed to learn when I don’t even care about myself?” is a phrase that I have often heard. Our girls come to us hurt, scared, afraid, alone, and in need of someone who cares even if they don’t. Getting on the other side of the wall of depression is critical, and I have the opportunity to do so through education. Our students need to believe in their ability to be successful again. I am able to gain relationships with my students far beyond any traditional school or boarding school because of our relationship based treatment methods. I make time to be with my students and get to know them; what they love, what they hate, what they are passionate about, etc. I help my students find those passions and interests they had before their depression stole them and help these girls gain success at school which then carries over into their daily lives. Together, piece by piece that wall crumbles. My students are then able to grow into talented, unique, gifted, and beautiful young women who I have the privilege of working with.
New Haven provides understanding, support, and love for young women and their families dealing with the seemingly insurmountable wall of depression. That level of support and love continues into our academic department as well. Our teachers care about our families and believe whole heartedly that every student can make peace with her past, thrive in the present, and create a hopeful future with her family.
By Alicia Walters; English Teacher