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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Flourish Stories logo against a white background with "#flourishtogether" written in black. Credit: Allison Piwowarski

Flourish Stories

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We are honored to present the stories of Stanford students who have courageously shared their experiences on finding hope, healing, resilience, and joy through their mental health journeys. 

These flourish stories are part of a traveling exhibit that will be showcased at various locations throughout the month of May.

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Learn how Stanford students have flourished through their mental health journeys.

Content Note

Some of the stories below include discussions of suicidal ideation or language that may be distressing. As you read each student's story, we encourage you to prioritize your own emotional well-being. Take a break from reading or seek support if needed. Remember, it's OK to not be OK. 

Benjamin, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Class of ’24; BS, Bioengineering; MS, Management Science & Engineering


I use my breath to anchor me. Learning to meditate and live mindfully has allowed me to continue asking questions and continue being curious but in a way that’s productive and sustainable.”

Chase, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Class of ’25; BA, English


I let myself become obsessed with this idea of perfection, which gradually had me drifting away from things that brought me joy, all in the pursuit of productivity. So now, I try to seek joy as often as I can ...”

Cherrial, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Class of ’25; BA, Psychology


Healing began when I realized, ‘Wait, I can’t run away from this; I have to run toward it. I have to confront my feelings to be able to heal them ... ’”

Emmie, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Nonmatriculated grad student/Bio-X


Looking back, I wish I could tell myself two things - that I will accomplish my dreams, even if they seem far-fetched and that I will get better and I deserve to feel good... I’ve come back stronger and better ... ” 

Jaden, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Class of ’24; BA, Psychology; MA, Sociology


At times I’ve found myself battling the fast-paced perfectionist kind of culture that I think a lot of students feel here. We are ambitious and we want to have an impact on the world. But slowing down is really important ... ”

Katya, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Class of ’25; BS, Human Biology


Rather than judging myself and feeling like I should be able to do it all, I've had to learn that, like mental health, self care looks different for different people... now when I feel myself spiraling, I try to remember that, and I pause to do something that brings me joy ... ”

Max, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
PhD, Electrical Engineering


If I could go back and tell my younger self something... I would remind myself that you can’t see the forest from the trees and that it’s healthy to reflect on the past, but living in the past is not ... ”

Samantha, Flourish Stories. (AI edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Class of ’26; BA, Communication


In the past I’ve felt that I didn’t really have the right to speak on mental health because I thought I’d been doing a good job of dealing with it on my own. What I’ve realized is... every mental health journey is different yet valuable ... ” 

What's Flourishing On Campus?

Learn more about The Flourish 

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Thank you to all of our partners

Sponsors: Office of Student Engagement, Stanford Arts, Vaden Health Services, and Well-Being at Stanford

Campus partners: Confidential Support Team, Counseling and Psychological Services, Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation, Office for Religious & Spiritual Life, Office of Substance Use Programs Education & Resources, Residential & Dining Enterprises, Share Title IX Office, Stanford Living Education, Stanford Meeting Services, and Weiland Health Initiative

Student organizations: Cardinal Recovery, On Call Cafe, PEERs, Student Mental Health Outreach, The Bridge Peer Counseling Center, and Wellness Buddies

Flourish Together Event Performers: Edwin Mbewe, Jack Cowan, Jason Miranda, Luciano Arroyo, and Mohamed Elhassan

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Littlefield garden, 2022. Credit: Andrew Brodhead

You Are Not Alone

As you read your fellow students’ stories, reflect on how far you have come in your own mental health journey and what you have realized about yourself along the way. Remember that you are not alone and there are resources at Stanford ready to support you.