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Mental Health Is More Complicated Than a Catchphrase

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One of my last days of work, right before the world took shelter from COVID-19, I found myself jammed into a small staffroom for an emergency meeting.

My principal addressed the staff about what the following weeks of “distance learning” would look like. At the time, my mind was foggy from a day of teaching and news updates, and I admit, her words felt distant as my attention wandered from colleague to colleague.

Finally, my gaze fixed on a sticker clinging to the back of a fourth-grade teacher’s laptop: “Choose Joy.” At that moment, I felt my breath get caught in my throat.

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