We believe that big problems require big solutions, and often they do, but sometimes smaller things can make a tremendous difference.
Fourth-year Public Health and Psychology student Le-Tien Duong believes this is true of mental health.
While she waited for access to mental health support, Le-Tien investigated non-clinical forms of mental health therapy, alternative approaches she now wants to add to the UWaterloo and KW communities so that higher-risk youth, especially those waiting for medical support, can find other ways of coping.
Le-Tien decided to come to GreenHouse as a way of developing her ideas around accessibility to mental health. She says, “I had always chosen my topics and even my program based on my passion. At GreenHouse, it has been fantastic to be part of a small group of people who are also passionate about mental health. We support and help each other succeed.” She adds,
“Everyone at GreenHouse wants to change the world and has a passion for helping others. Not everyone knows exactly what they want to do, but GreenHouse is a great place to start.”
It is also a great place to live. Le-Tien, who did not enjoy residence in first year, says of her GreenHouse living experience,
“Everyone in GreenHouse and St. Paul’s is welcoming, almost strangely so. People strike up conversations on the elevator and really care about one another.”
In the larger system, Le-Tien says that there are huge holes in the health care system. “People see doctors as the only solution to their problems, when there are a wide variety of tools available. Mental health is complex so what one person needs might be different from another – but there is a wide variety of outlets from exercise to meditation to art. The biggest challenge I face is convincing people that these outlets work, but they really do.”