Fourteen years ago, Lori Yoder, Bachelor of Social Work student at the IU School of Social Work at IU South Bend began to struggle with depression after going through a series of events in her life that caused a significant disruption in her well-being. After spending four years trying to fix things herself, Lori realized this was not something she could not do independently, and she decided to reach out to a local church that provided a ministry that could help her work through her depression.
Thanks to her church, Lori learned how to connect with her emotions and grieve and heal from past trauma. Through this experience, Lori felt called to help others who were struggling as she once had, which led her to become a pastoral care team leader at Maple City Church in Goshen, Indiana. Additionally, Lori is a co-leader of a Self-Care Support Group at IUSB in the School of Social Work.
By helping those who are also struggling, Lori wants others to realize they are not alone and have people who care. It is a great privilege for Lori when others allow her into their hard places so she can help them process their emotions and thoughts.
Not only has Lori been able to use her experience with depression to help others, but she has learned valuable lessons throughout the process, with the most valuable lesson being that struggle is normal. Lori believes that people often like to portray a life that looks all put together, but underneath the shiny exterior, every person struggles with something.
Lori credits the IU School of Social Work to broaden her knowledge, worldview, and skills. Because of the School, Lori understands the struggles that many oppressed groups face. Her professors and her student services advisor have embraced Lori throughout her journey as a student. Lori is thankful for the faculty at the IU School of Social Work because they have always been willing to help her understand things on a deeper level, and they will go out of their way to help with Lori’s academics and future career.
Lori lives by this quote:
“Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care. Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down.
Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave.
It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment.
It means we stop trying to do the impossible–controlling that which
we cannot–and instead, focus on what is possible–which usually means
taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness,
and love, as much as possible.” ~Melody Beattie