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DANICA MALLARI

“I feel that with a lot of health professional fields, we’re all really stressed out. It’s not just for dentistry; it’s almost every field. We don’t really talk about it. Mental health is super stigmatized; it’s taboo to have any sort of depression. Mental health, to me, means not necessarily being okay, but being in a place in your head where you can recognize that you need help when something is not right. And that you can actually take that initiative to reach out to a friend or a teacher or a counsellor. 
Before we went to the ASDA Annual Session, I felt that I didn’t really have a handle on academics; ‘I have so many projects to do and it is so hard to study for classes’. Everyone is doing their own thing so it is hard to talk to someone about it. So I went into counselling and I did a walk-in session because I knew something did not feel right. [My psychiatrist] recently told me that I have signs of clinical depression. I now go into counselling every two weeks, or so. And counselling here is free -- and I think people should take advantage of it. Being in school 8am-5pm and missing class can be tough. But I have to skip some class and weigh out which is more important: class or counselling. There are lots of other ways you can take care of your mental health; you can journal, you can go for a jog, or even sit down and watch tv and not think about anything.

I have been trying to make it my mission to not be embarrassed talking about my depression, how I feel, or if I am struggling with a class. Everything that we have should be a platform to make it okay to talk about mental health.” - Danica Mallari