Local therapist shares tips for strengthening mental health and wellbeing


The back of student and staff IDs provides hotlines for support.

This is the second story of an opinion series on mental health by guest writer, Nevaeh Perla. Read the introductory essay here

Mental health has become a huge part of our everyday society. I spoke to Ms. Norma Oshita who is a local therapist to help answer my questions, as well as the questions of my peers. Oshita is a licensed family and marriage therapist.

She began her study in 2005 and since then, has been in the field for 12 years. She had first been a cosmetologist then had a convincing client who mentioned the psychology path. Oshita had known that was the career for her.

“This had felt natural to me, and I had no second thought!” she said.

Oshita is very passionate about what she does, but there are many pros and cons to the job. Pros include helping others emotionally and getting them on the right path to change for the better. She loves to spread joy and positivity every day. Oshita strives to leave an impact on those she helps.

Along with these amazing benefits comes cons as well. This is a very challenging job when clients have gone through very traumatic events and she feels that it is hard to leave those topics at work and not worry about them at home. 

When we deal with mental health at such a young age, she said, “Teens should be very aware of their self-esteem and self-confidence to help avoid self-doubt and depression.”

To build a foundation for self-love, the best way is to surround yourself with positivity, including people and places. You can help this by being consistent with words of affirmation, focusing on yourself, and looking towards the positive side of things. These together can build strong mental health. 

This also goes along with self-management. To help with self-management, you can be positive, consistent, balanced, and begin to journal all the good along with the bad parts of your days. Words of affirmation help the brain to focus on the good. There are three stages of memorization which are encoding, storage, and retrieval. With consistency, these words of affirmation will begin to come true and help with positivity. 

When coming to responsible decision-making, the best way to help is to remember not to be impulsive, don’t overreact, think of the consequences, and think things out.

When a friend is having suicidal thoughts, the best thing you can do is listen and be present. Be open and allow the person to express themselves and let them know there is a way to get help. If you are having those thoughts, the first step is to reach out. There are support systems and hotlines on the back of your student ID that you can call or text to speak to someone.

There is always help available to you. 

Neveah Perla is a freshman at La Quinta High School who listens to a man who sings about fruit, and likes to spread positivity.