Rachel and John Luke McConn’s Story
How did you first become involved with NFCC?
John Luke: Growing up, Nick was my best friend. Our families were close and continue to be close today. I have known about and supported NFCC from the beginning because of Nick’s name, but the reason I remain attached to the counseling center today is because I know the value of affordable mental health care.
Rachel: When I met John Luke and learned about the counseling center, I knew that I wanted to get involved. In my late teens and early 20’s, I really struggled with mental health issues, so the mission of NFCC really hit home for me. I was incredibly fortunate that my parents could afford to get me the help that I needed, but I know there are so many people that do not have that privilege. NFCC is providing the Houston community with affordable mental healthcare, which is incredible, and I will forever feel very drawn to that cause.
What are your personal thoughts on how we can make it easier for people to talk about their mental health struggles and let others know they are not alone?
John Luke: I think breaking the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health struggles is key. There’s no judgement in seeking medical care for an infection or broken bone and seeking help for mental illness needs to be viewed the same way.
Rachel: When you are grappling with depression, anxiety, or really any mental health issue, you feel incredibly alone and have those “what is wrong with me?” thoughts. I think the stigma surrounding mental health issues will inherently end if more people simply talk about it. Which can be hard but when people open up about their struggles, it opens up a dialogue, and real healing can begin.
Who has been most influential on your mental health journey?
John Luke: Sam Harris’ “Waking Up” app which teaches meditation techniques has been extremely beneficial for me.
Rachel: It sounds strange to say this but the most influential person on my mental health journey would have to be myself. A previous therapist told me during one of our sessions that the majority of the work happens outside of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy was life changing for me, and while I was only in that modality for 5 months, I have used those skills every day for the past 9 years. Therapy opens up a door to a better life, but you truly have to walk through it, do the work and not give up.
Why do you choose to support mental healthcare over other causes?
We both are very health conscious and believe that mental health is an underappreciated pillar of your overall well-being. There are so many people who do not have any options when it comes to working on their mental health and NFCC provides them that chance. That’s why we continue to give. We were both very fortunate to have had the support from our families during our own struggles and want others to have access to those resources as well. Therapy should not be a privilege but a standard of care for everyone.