SafeSpace Stories


Read honest & personal teen mental health stories

Trigger Warning: stories contain mental health struggles and may mention eating disorders, self harm, and suicide attempts. 

Hi, I'm Bela!

As much as high school junior Bela D. loves learning, she struggled with being in a school environment.

Outside of the confines of school buildings, she poured her heart into her studies, driven by her gratitude for having an education. But at school, there were questions. Conversations. People—so many people. Café food and the dreaded hour of lunch.

Bela Blog
Mira Blog Cover

Hey! I'm Mira.

On Sunday nights, you can find rising senior Mira D. relaxing in a face mask while spreading a glossy coat of varnish atop her nails. Known as her “skincare nights,” for Mira, self care has become a weekly tradition.

Whether it’s those Sunday skincare nights, devoting a part of her day to reading, or watching an episode of her go-to show, self care is now an important connection in the support network that Mira has developed over the years — but things weren’t always that way.

When Mira began her mental health journey, she felt alone.

Hi there, I'm Leo!

Shoes slap against the ground, bringing up clouds of dust. Blood pulses through veins; hearts pound against rib cages. Air unevenly rushes in and out. The rugged nature, the sun, the numbers on a track — everything whizzes past.

It’s in moments like these where Leo K., a rising sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College, finds his safe space. Sometimes, it’s just Leo and the achingly rewarding feel of running; other times, he cracks jokes and form memories with his tight-knit cluster of friends on the college track and cross country teams.

But in the fall of Leo's junior year of high school in 2018, he couldn’t run cross country like he always did.

Maggie Blog Cover

Hi, I'm Maggie!

Junior Maggie P. never expected to have an important realization about her mental health while river rafting. Yet it was her experience during a river rafting trip in Idaho that made everything click.

Prior to that, upon first entering middle school in sixth grade, she had been feeling overwhelmed. Walking into school each day, she realized all the things that were on her plate: mouthfuls of sports, different friend groups she had to juggle, social structures… It felt as though wave upon wave of worry was crashing against her, and she had to push to stay afloat.

Hi there, I'm Catherine!

As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety, Catherine's mental health journey began unexpectedly: with a car accident in 2017.

Though Catherine emerged physically unscathed, the incident changed her in a different way. She became scared of driving. Then flying. Then it snowballed into a multitude of other fears until she felt anxious to just go outside.

“It sounds so irrational thinking back to it, but I think when you’re in that mode, when you’re in that mindset, it’s just like… that’s what it is for you,” Catherine said. “And it’s hard to get out of it.”

Catherine's dog, who never fails to bring a smile on her face.

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