Emily's Story: Healing in the Classroom
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Emily's Story: Healing in the Classroom


Emily Headshot

My name is Emily Cullen, and I am a teacher here at Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health Centre. I’d like to tell you about my job - and why I love it.

Growing up, I was a “closet” anxiety sufferer. Twenty years ago, when I was in high school, I couldn’t talk about my mental health struggles. I knew the words “depression and anxiety” existed. But it wasn’t safe, okay, or common place to use them.

I missed out on a lot of fun things when I was young, because I didn’t know that I could ask for help. It was an incredibly long, hard and lonely road for me to grow into adulthood. Eventually, I did find help, and wanted to help others who struggle as I did.

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Which is why I am a teacher here at Lutherwood, and brave enough to tell you my story today. It is so refreshing to teach in a building full of teenagers who are also brave enough to say, “I’m struggling with my mental health – and I need your help now.” My students are truly inspirational!

Some of my students come here just for day school. They learn strategies that will support their mental health in their homes and communities. I can see myself in many of my students, as they struggle with worry and self-doubt.

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Others come and live here to receive more intensive treatment and support. But all these children need the support of someone generous and caring - someone like you!

Like Jessica*, who came to us with anxiety so crippling that she didn’t know where to turn. It got to the point where she couldn’t leave the house at all. She had no friends, couldn’t go to school or do any of the things a girl her age is supposed to enjoy. Her heart would race, her face would get red and blotchy, and she couldn’t catch her breath. She was overcome by a terrible fear. “I want to go home! How am I supposed to get better here?” was commonly heard from her.

With help from a caring person like you, she began to find hope. With the tools she learned at Lutherwood, she began to improve day by day. Week by week.

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You can give a child like Jessica the space to heal.

I can tell you for a fact that your gift today will make a difference. No teenager needs to struggle alone, as I and countless others have.

For every transformed Jessica that gets to go home, there is another youth like her, just starting her journey. Your role in helping these kids is critical.

Thank you for considering a gift to help kids like Jessica – and Happy Thanksgiving!


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PS. Every gift you make, no matter how small, goes directly towards helping children like Jessica transform their lives. The sooner you can give, the sooner they can get the care they need. It’s truly that simple.

*Jessica’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.