Beautifully broken

Ella Schulte, News Writer

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If only, we had known the signs.

“I’ve never really forgotten what it was like to be a teen. I actually cried when I turned 18 because I didn’t think I was going to live that long.”

Those were the words spoken by Iowa licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Brandon Wall on Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m. at the “Supporting My Student’s Mental Health” parent information event held in Xavier’s Regis-LaSalle Theater.

All K-12 Xavier Catholic School parents were welcome to attend and listen to Wall, a guest presenter who specializes in working with couples, individual trauma, teenagers and families.

Wall is no stranger to the trials and tribulations that teens face on a daily basis.

“After twenty years of spending thousands of hours in ministry, researching theology, philosophy and psychology, a singular story kept coming up no matter where I turned. That being when we humans are deeply connected to our higher power or purpose, with others and ourselves, there is a significant reduction in mental pathology. Yet, the contrast is also true,” Wall said. “When we are disconnected with our higher power and purpose, ourselves and others, there is a dramatic increase in mental disorders.”

Each individual in attendance was handed a pamphlet upon entering the auditorium, which detailed ten common warning signs of a mental health condition as well as additional crisis outreach information and a variety of other resources.

Currently, Xavier faculty and staff are working closely with the National Alliance of Mental Illness of Linn County in order to provide both deliberate and impactful educational training opportunities.

Partnerships and events such as these not only ensure that the mission and purpose of Xavier are fulfilled, but that all members of the Xavier community feel informed and aware of the support students need.

“The topic of mental health is important because Xavier’s mission is to develop the total person in a Catholic environment. By not addressing student mental health awareness, we fall short of that mission,” Associate Principal Mr. Gerry Miller said. “Students today are faced with many challenges not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. It is important that we work in conjunction with parents and teachers to have healthy discussions with young people about mental health and how one can maintain good health as well as receive support and assistance when needed.”

If only, we had known the signs.

Poet Tess Guinery once said, “The stars nodded,/The ocean agreed,/ The flowers chorused,/‘Bloom now-bloom free.’/-rise, again.”

So, bloom now, bloom free, rise, again, so that somehow, some way and someday, there will be a universal eagerness and awareness to help all those who are beautifully broken.

If you or a loved one is considering inflicting self harm of any kind, text or call:

Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741.

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-442-HOPE (4673).

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).

Iowa Helpline: 1-855-800-1239

You are loved.