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"I have ADHD"

Dropping that Mental Health Knowledge

This week I had the opportunity to speak at a local elementary school's career day. I had two groups of 5th grade students. I have to admit that I was a little nervous going into it among all the other careers featured, many in the tech industry. I figured most kids would be more engaged in the techie aspect than wanting to hear from a therapist. As it happened, I was on a panel with two engineers both in tech and marketing roles. Yet as I stood in front of the groups of 50 soon to middle schoolers and explained what I do for work, hands started to shoot up with questions. So many many questions that came.

I started off by asking the groups if they knew what a therapist was and was pleasantly surprised that many stated they knew of or had gone to therapy. Score one for the mental health providers breaking down stigmas for accesiblity. I then proceeded to tell them about my specialties, which for those of you that may not know, is ADHD, executive functions, neurodivergence, anxiety and depression. Of course I have worked with a variety of other challenges and very much enjoy that work too, but I have a personal calling and passion for helping and educating in these particular areas. As I discussed what I do and who I help, more hands shot up. I called upon the fingers being wiggled in the air to hear things such as "I have ADHD!" or "I have anxiety" to "How do I calm down if I am upset?" I was able to give some quick tips for calm down strategies, but I wish I had more time to go in-depth. It seemed like such a need for these kiddos, and we only had ten minutes for each of the three speakers. To be honest I was nervous I would have too much time, but seeing it now I could have talked for an hour.

It was such a delight to share what I do with these young minds and having many relate to their own experiences confirmed that what I do and love to do is important. It has impact and it is a need. After the quick run down, I passed out calm down stickers that I had made, which the kids seemed to love. According to my clients and own kids, stickers are all the rage. I even had some of the kids ask for business cards to take to their parents, which was an honor. Even if they don't call me, I hope I was able to convey that there are people out there to support and encourage anyone to get the help the need or want.

I have to say a big thanks to the teachers, counselors and administrators for allowing me to be apart of their career day and sharing what I love to do, what I am called to do with these wonderful young students!

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