“During the week I work as a middle school counselor, and I have students who come to my office for sanctuary because maybe they struggle with learning and they’re frustrated and angry. Or maybe they don’t feel respected because of what someone said to them, and their feelings are crushed. We’ll talk and put it back together and then we’ll get back in class and try to do something about it. I want to get them to the point where they can say, ‘You know, I wasn’t successful this morning, but I might be able to be successful this afternoon.’ I’ve seen great changes in kids who felt there was someone who believed in them.
“Mentally ill people feel the same way. They need someone who believes in them, someone willing to talk to them even through they’re angry or even a little bit dangerous, someone who will say hello and offer them water. If we say, ‘They’ll never change’, they probably won’t. But if we look for the good, we can offer them hope. I think that’s the most important thing we can give someone. My mom suffered from mental illness, but she was still a great human being who managed to raise two successful children. She was amazing. She was beautiful.”