“I am hopeful for tomorrow.”

How seeking counselling helped a student find herself.

An adolescent girl looks out
UNICEF Bhutan/2021/ULhaden
15 November 2021

Mongar:  She is happy today. An Arts student, Kinley*, 20, loves literature and is an active member of her school’s literary club.

But things weren’t always this way for Kinley. She was 15 then and had started getting headache. “My body went numb, I was always scared and couldn’t sleep,” she recalls. “I was hallucinating, which made me believe that my friends were talking bad behind me.”

“I was sad, low and alone,” says Karma adding that she had lost in doing anything. Watching news on the television made her anxious. “I felt that the reporter would say something bad about me any minute. The sight of sharp objects and tall buildings triggered suicidal thoughts.”

“Mental illness occurs unexpectedly and out of nowhere your thoughts and feelings are filled with negativity.”

When her parents went to the school principal to talk about Kinley dropping school, they were recommended to take her for counselling. Talking to the counsellor, recalls, Kinley, was the start of her healing process.

She was diagnosed with depression at the hospital and started on counselling and medication. “I didn’t know I was suffering from depression,” says Kinley. “Mental illness occurs unexpectedly and out of nowhere your thoughts and feelings are filled with negativity.”

She resumed school the following year but could not write her exam. “My hands felt cold and my body numb, I cried and left the paper blank.”  

Kinley recalls that at one point of time, she felt like a burden to her family and wanted to give up on everything. “With the support of my family and counsellor, I feel much better now and have stopped medication. But I am still getting counselling.”

With medication, meditation, prayers and counselling, she got alright to join school a year later. “Through counselling, I am able to love and take care of myself,” says Kinley. “As advised by my counsellor, I maintain a journal to write down my feelings and I am on my way to fully recover from depression. I am hopeful for tomorrow.”


By Sonam Yangchen, UNICEF Bhutan.

*Name changed to protect the privacy of the client.

Photo used for illustration purpose only.


If you or someone you know is not feeling okay, talking to someone you trust helps.

You can call and talk to someone — without judgement — about what’s on your mind.

Call 17861294; 17609443; 17751625; 77258332 or contact the Sherig Counselling Facebook page.