Two friends sat down together over coffee one morning. Both therapists by vocation, they commiserated over the divide between the careers they once envisioned and the reality in which they had become entrenched. Well-intentioned mental health organizations were committed to programs which often struggled to connect with youth, and practices motivated by profitability often impeded the potential for real impact. Idealists at heart, the two friends discussed their vision for something greater, an organization dedicated to engaging youth through relevant and consistent mental health services that would meet students where they were, both emotionally and in the school settings where students were found. The conversation ended with a shared commitment to make the dream a reality. Thus, the idea for their non-profit organization was birthed.
The name – Mending Matters – came later. In our quest to identify an organizational name which accurately reflected the nature of our business and our empathy toward the mental health needs of San Diego County’s youth, we relied upon the diverse meanings of “matters.” In the cerebral sense, we are about mending. Said another way, we are in the business of mending. It’s what we do. If relaying this aspect of our non-profit was our sole objective, then we could have just as appropriately named our organization, “The Matters of Mending.” But our organization is more than a dispassionate business. We believe in mending the lives of students negatively impacted by struggles and circumstances. We believe mending makes a difference, and it’s worth our investment of time and energy. In the emotional sense, mending matters to every student with whom we engage. It matters to them, and so it matters to us.
Like the lives of the students with whom we have the privilege to become acquainted, our story is far from complete. Entering our fourth academic year, our organization has added new school sites and formed new partnerships, and therefore students able to be seen, with each year. And we have done so without compromising our vision to provide consistent and relevant mental health services on each campus on which we are present. It is through this vision and our mission of empowering our youth community that we look forward to bringing continued positive impact to San Diego’s students in the years to come.
–Esther Izquierdo-Hemmen & Ashley Sartini Buckner, Co-Founders