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Each Mind Matters

Sep 03, 2016

I have been guerrilla-posting Each Mind Matters stickers all over the place.

Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement

I learned of the Each Mind Matters campaign when I lived in Grass Valley, CA, a much more socially active community than San Luis Obispo. There are stacks of stickers, in English and in Spanish (“SantaMente”), at San Luis Obispo County Mental Health Services in Atascadero, where my psychiatrist practices. I always grab a stack, every three months, and work on this marketing side project as a hobby. I have posted stickers in Big Sur. I have put my car in park and handed stickers to bumper-sticker-driving van owners while at stop lights (and been given thumbs up!). There are stickers on metal at major intersections in this county. That’s me.

I teach Yoga and meditation at Cal Poly, which gives me access to the fitness facility, including an amazing, resort-like swimming pool where I spend free time.

I have stuck a sticker inside one of the lockers. Let’s call it locker 111. Locker 111 is in the row of lockers where I usually change, but in the corner of that row: not my first choice locker, because it’s kind of cramped in that corner, but I always acknowledge that locker. My locker of choice is locker, say, 115.

The first quarter I taught at Cal Poly, I had a student, whom I will never forget, who clearly had a panic attack and had to leave class. Class was crowded, it was in the first three weeks of a new school year, and tension was high. In my trauma-sensitive training, it is suggested that if a student wants to leave the room, we do whatever we can to encourage that person to stay, to stay present, to remain supportive, so the wave of emotion can pass and the person can integrate the experience in a continuous, relatively safe atmosphere.

This girl left and I could not stop her. I have never forgotten her. I always have felt that I did not serve her adequately. She is extremely tall, pretty, and with a noticeable behavioral affect: eye contact is extremely uncomfortable for her.

She uses locker 111.


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