Ms. Roman, a staple on our campus. As our school's psychiatric social worker, she works with students and parents in crisis daily. But just who is she? Irene Roman grew up in East LA. Before getting her bachelor's at Cal State LA and her master's at USC, she went to Garfield High School. Ms. Roman loves what she does: “[It's] stressful work at times, but ... the students overwrite the stress. Like they make it better. ... I learned so much from you guys. It's like the best job.”
On campus, Ms. Roman works with Ms. Cassandra on crisis work. Working with students in a poor state of mind, Ms. Roman helps students until they can get a therapist. She also offers group work to students. After moving to a new office, students can enjoy the quiet space outside her office. Ms. Roman’s goal is to ensure students are in a better place than when they came in.
Ms. Roman has some words for students who are scared to speak up: “I'll show them that it's not that scary that most of our fears are inside that we internalize like, you know, the stigma of mental health and not like the reality of it. But because we all need support, we all need help we all I mean if we cannot ask for help. That's pretty scary. You know. There are no there is no judgment.”
When asked if she could change one thing, she brought up the stigma around mental health. Adults are often hesitant when students need help. Ms. Roman makes it a point that mental health is incredibly important. Students should reach out when they need help. She believes that adults should be more sensitive to student's mental health. “We all need ways to cope, helping students to use their voice is my job,” Ms. Roman says.
Talking to Ms. Roman was so amazing. She was so intelligent and had such wise words. For any struggling students, you should speak with Ms. Roman. She has countless things to offer and is a shoulder to lean on. Thank you, Ms. Roman.