Yelaika Lopez represents what is best about our future leaders. She is on a mission to break barriers and reduce the stigma of seeking treatment for mental health issues. Stigma prevents people from accessing treatment for up to a decade, according to The National Council of Behavioral Health.
I was fortunate to meet Yelaika while she was still in high school, and I have watched her flourish as a college student. She is sharing this personal reflection to support The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
In honor of #nationalsuicidepreventionweek I wanted to share a picture of a tattoo I got a few months ago… there are 4 symbols incorporated that represent some of the things that I value in life.. one of them being a semicolon due to my own personal struggles with some low points in my life as well as in support and solidarity towards loved ones (and anyone) who struggle with depression.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE… every single person, whether they mention it or not, goes through some sort of depression. There will be moments in which you feel like you’re drowning with no way out.. I get that! So many times, I have felt like I’m being suffocated by everything going on around me.
So what do I do to cope? I give myself one day.. one day to cry, sulk, be wrapped up in my blankets, binge watch whatever shows or movies I want.. and then I wake up the next day ready to make a plan. Life moves on without us and the longer you take off the bigger your problems get. Step up for yourself. You are better than your situation and you deserve better! No matter how bad it gets there will always be someone else that is going through the same thing or something very similar.
If you feel alone or need someone to talk to I’m a good ear. I can’t promise to solve your problems or magically make things better but I can promise to listen and offer insight.
It gets better. ❤️❤️❤️
She sees in black and white; thinks in grays; and loves in color” — JmStorm
Bio: My name is Yelaika Lopez and I am a senior at Rowan University. I have an Associate of Arts in Psychology and will be obtaining my Bachelors of Science in Psychology in December 2019. I aspire to attend Widener University for their interdisciplinary graduate program in achieving a PsyD in Clinical Psychology and an MEd in Human Sexuality.
Helping others is a passion of mine because as I was growing up, I found myself falling into a darkness that scared me. It took me years and a strong support system to help me realize that I am strong enough to overcome those moments of despair and that it is okay to take a moment to let those feelings flow as long as I have a plan to come back from it.
Ultimately, I’d love to open up my own practice in Marriage and Family Counseling with a specialization in Human Sexuality. I plan on creating an interactive and comprehensive curriculum to bring back to middle and high schools to better inform our youth about important issues in Human Sexuality, such as: social relationships, LGBTQ+ issues, forming healthy and safe boundaries, and more.
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN