I’ve been in the mental health field for nearly a decade. I spent about 5 years within the local public school system, so I’ve spent lots of time talking through teenage drama, listening to angry kids, and guiding teens through anxiety or identity issues. I have a passion for listening to and guiding young people in the journeys and struggles as they discover, define, and decide who they are in this big, beautiful world. I am passionate about pointing them in a positive direction (or steer away from a negative one), listening when they feel misunderstood, helping their parents understand or deal with their struggles, and being a small part of their journey as they grow into savvy adults.
However, I’m also a mom to two kids, so I understand both sides of the coin a bit. I get what parents go through in walking that walk with their children and understand that sometimes you make good decisions for young people who don’t understand or appreciate yet all that you do for them. It’s a bit unrealistic to work with young people without also incorporating their families. Family is so important. We all come from one, we build our own, and we learn within one. It’s empowering to help families build better communication skills, cope more appropriately with one another’s triggers or struggles, and grow closer in supporting each other.
Leah Payne, Mental Health Counselor