Hanna McKellar

I have been at this school for six years, and every single year has been different. I have watched people change, and seen changes in myself. The biggest change I dealt with was the understanding of my own mental health. Many people struggle with mental health, and I happen to be one of those people. When I was diagnosed with depression, it didn’t really come as a surprise because I had spent the past few months breaking down and laying on the floor crying Every. Single. Night. What did surprise me is how much this diagnosis would change me. When you suffer from depression, it can be hard to get things done, and there are times when all I can do is lay on my bed like a useless blob because I simply cannot bring myself to do anything. These are the worst times for me, because I feel like I am not good enough. That is the single hardest thing I have dealt with in my mental health.

Everyone has times when they feel that they aren’t good enough. For me, when I start to feel like this, everything becomes too difficult to handle. I become terrified of upsetting people or losing my friends, when in reality mistakes are part of life. My friends aren’t going to unfriend me because I talk about dogs too much.

My struggle with mental health has helped shape me into the person I am. If you have met me, you know I am an extremely optimistic person. I don’t like negativity or when people talk down about themselves. If you see me around, I am usually laughing or rambling to Kelli about how much coffee I can drink in one day. My way of looking at life is, if I can’t be happy, I’m going to spread as much happiness as I possibly can to as many people as I possibly can. With my friends and family, I am able to get through each day. My friends have helped me through everything, they are the reason I have become the person who I am today. Even though I get sad, I know that I have so many people that love and support me and so many people in my life that I love. I am happy with my life. I am happy with myself and who I am as a person.

Today I chose to speak on something that I struggle to talk to most people about. I know that there are people in this room who are struggling right now, and maybe don’t want or don’t know how to talk about it or even understand it. I want you to know that you are not alone. If you don’t know who to go to, turn to an adult, talk to your parents or Ms. P-D. Don’t let yourself be alone in dealing with these issues. You can even come to me. I might talk about dogs and memes too much, but I will listen and try to help as much as possible.

I also want to say how important your friends can be for support. My friends have been there for me through everything and I am so thankful to have them in my life. I know that without the support my friends have given me both at school and when I’m struggling at home, I would not be the person I am today. Friendship is the most important key to getting through high school and through the road bumps you may have along the way. My mental health has changed me so much during my high school years. As a freshman I never would have guessed that I would be where I am today. I know that sometimes things can be challenging, but I have learned to always remember that I am never alone. My struggle with depression does affect me, but it in no way stops me. Thank you.