#IBELIEVEINME: “I am very happy when I come to the Solidarity Center”

Steven Tagle

Ismini, beneficiary of the psychological counseling and

psychotherapy service at the Athens Solidarity Center

She is just 22.

She was born and raised in Crete and she has two turquoise eyes, the same as the seas of her favourite island, that change colour according to light.

The last months she visits the organisation’s Athens Solidarity Center once a week, as a beneficiary of the psychological counseling and psychotherapy service offered pro bono to those in need – Greeks, refugees, migrants.

The conversation with her is enjoyable because Ismini speaks very nicely with a young person’s cheer, while she manages to describe accurately what led her to the Center. In recent years, Ismini is experiencing intense anxiety which sometimes takes the form of panic attacks.

A beautiful young girl whose need to always be very good at everything, causes her anxiety she cannot control. The first panic attacks occurred after the final high school exams -the ticket to her University studies. Years later came the time to face periodic crises as a result of the stress caused by the studies’ demands at a sought -after University. She has been studying in Athens for the last four years and is concerned that she will not be able to complete her studies in the typical time, but later. A concern that sounds unfair for herself, but very important to Ismini.

There is no obvious reason, in the eyes of a stranger, for Ismini’s anxiety, especially because as she admits “whatever I decide to do, I complete it and I do it successfully.” Her life proves it; two caring and loving parents, Ismini herself a very good pupil, champion of synchronized swimming, an excellent University student, a social extrovert young woman who loves cinema and travel.

Ismini’s family is always by her side, whereas she tells for her mother “she is the person with whom I am truly myself and the one who always helps me to overcome any crisis.Now, also the psychologist at the Athens Solidarity Center stands by her – the person who supports her and who is certain that Ismini will acquire the skills that will enable her to manage her anxiety and have a life in line with her expectations and inclinations.

Gradually, Ismini will succeed and chase her dreams that include postgraduate studies, love, travel and success as she means it. 

*Ismini is one of the beneficiaries receiving pro bono services provided to vulnerable population groups (Greeks, refugees and migrants) at the SolidarityNow Athens Solidarity Center. Find more about the Athens Solidarity Center: https://www.solidaritynow.org/en/kentro-allileggiis-athinas/.