Front exterior of the Hillsdale College Ambler Health and Wellness Center.

Acknowledge Our Humanity: Conversations with Brock Lutz

Written by Victoria Nuñez

We hate to ask for help, and it’s no wonder why. We go to a college that prides itself on the fact that it doesn’t ask for help. Financially, this is great. But such a mentality can slide into our emotional and physical wellbeing. When everyone else looks like they have it all together, what will it take for us to admit we need help?

Brock Lutz, the director of Health Services, says the biggest lies we believe go something like this: My performance defines my worth as a person; I am my emotions; and If I talk about problems or admit weakness, then there’s something really wrong with me.

“We are emotional people and that’s great; that’s what makes us human,” Brock says. “We want people to express their emotions but recognize they can still do something with them. All of those things should come together in the decisions that we make.”

Brock believes it is important that we acknowledge our humanity.

“We want to get at that lie of, What would my friends think of me if they realize that I had a panic attack yesterday? Well, they’re probably going to think you’re human, and then they’re probably going to tell you how they had a panic attack last week or how their mom suffers from depression.

“The problem with modern diagnosis is that we over-pathologize things like sadness, anxiety, or stress, that are actually a fairly common part of the human condition. We make it seem like something’s wrong with you because you don’t have the motivation to get up in the morning. And that’s something that a lot of people experience in life.”

Obviously people experience this to different degrees, so Brock says that the best way we can help our friends is just to know them. “Ask them how they’re doing and care about it. And five days later when you see them again, ask them how that thing went. Care about people.”

This does not mean you have to become an enneagram master and post self-help articles every week. Maybe the world does not need more psychologists as much as it needs more people who are emotionally honest. People who are willing to understand what’s wrong and who are willing to do something about it.

To Brock, college-provided counseling makes a huge difference, because unlike other settings, there is no required diagnosis within forty-five minutes. This counseling is free, thus the pressure is off the counselor.

“I think it’s wonderful that on college campus we can sit there and just say, Let me understand this person.” Some people come just once for advice for a specific matter; some come regularly. Both ways, Hillsdale College counselors have the freedom to help the person sitting across from them without the financial burden of weekly visit costs.

How to schedule an appointment

Scheduling appointments is as easy as contacting Linda Snoes at [email protected] or Brock Lutz at [email protected]. Besides Brock Lutz and Kaitlyn Zellner, there are three other counselors on staff, so rest assured there will always be someone available to talk to you.

Victoria NuñezVictoria Nuñez, ’22, has a deep love for connecting people to people and is always up for an adventure. She writes because she has to, but she enjoys it more than she lets on. In her free time, you can catch her laughing, dancing, or people watching.

Published in July 2019