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Failure is not an option.

A running theme through my childhood and through my teen years was “Failure is not an option”. I am the eldest daughter of first-generation immigrants so I quickly came to value success, as my family had quantified it: good grades and a high-earning career. In the process of establishing a self-empowering motivation to succeed, I determined that I was not allowed to ask others for help. From elementary and all the way through high school, I was able to get through just fine on my “own”. Years later, I’ve come to realize how influential getting help can really be. I was the first in my family to go to college and attend therapy. These are my top three tips for asking for help when your measurements of success start to affect your mental health.

1. There is no RIGHT way to do therapy/get help.

Traditional therapy can be helpful for some, but like most other things, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there is also no one type of therapy. There are several different types of approaches to therapy that can each be helpful in its own way. It’s normal to feel discouraged from therapy if the first experience did not quite fit your needs. Therefore it is important to know that you have not failed therapy/getting help. The main priority is making sure you allow yourself the opportunity to explore the different modes of help. 

2. Your mental health is worth investing in too.

There’s a notion that mental health and physical health are not equally important. That only those ailments we can see on the surface are valid forms of suffering. However, in day and age, we are beginning to see the many faults within those statements. There are a number of benefits to getting mental health services. Therefore the outdated belief that mental health is not worth spending money on or putting time into, must be abandoned. 

3. It is your journey….

Make the decisions that will most benefit you in the long run. Though family and friends can be a great support system and everyday help, but it is important to prioritize your own needs and go at your own pace. 

Lessons learned.

Going into adulthood, one of the lessons I first learned was that asking for help is not a failure. Asking for help is growing. Through this growth, I am becoming a much healthier woman overall. 

Hi! My name is Jennifer, I am currently a UCSB student majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences. I have been working as the Outreach Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at Acacia Isla Vista for almost two years. This year, I am also co-leading the IV Mental Health Advocate program which has given me the opportunity to further advocate for mental health equity in the community. When I am not working or studying, I enjoy watching the sunset, hiking, and finding cool food spots! 

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