Twin Cities mental health counselor determined to fight cancer – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities counselor who spent the last year helping hundreds of teens and families struggling with mental health issues is now asking the community for help.
Jason Clopton, also known as the “Teenage Whisperer,” has the ability to connect with kids when and where their parents can’t. Clopton is not only a mental health professional, but he also hosts the Teen Whisperer podcast. The podcast helps teens tackle difficult emotional issues and educate parents on how to reach their struggling children.
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When George Floyd was murdered, Clopton held free virtual town halls for children traumatized by what they saw in this video and heard in their communities. Clopton dedicated his time to providing community members with a safe space for their voices to be heard.
“Mental health is a topic that we overlook in so many different areas, in our community, in our society,” said Clopton.
Amid the growing demand for the teenage whisperer and other mental health professionals, Clopton now needs the community more than ever. The counselor was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called T cell leukemia / lymphoma, also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Clopton is currently at the Mayo Clinic Methodist Hospital for treatment. He will be in hospital for at least a month and then be allowed to live in Rochester for up to a year.
“It’s hard, it changes your life. It really is. It breaks you down so you can rebuild yourself, ”Clopton explained, referring to chemotherapy.
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Clopton said he is learning to accept the good, rule out the bad, and focus on his own sanity so he can be better and stronger when he’s away.
“I have to practice what I preach, I preach self-care, I preach taking care of your sanity, prioritizing it, treating it as a value and truly understanding your worth in the sin of life.” , Clopton said.
The fight against cancer is only part of the fight. Clopton admits that the financial and emotional struggles of his wife and children weighed him down. Due to medical bills, travel and accommodation costs, monthly expenses have skyrocketed. His hope is to alleviate some of that burden with a GoFundMe. So far, the community has donated over $ 32,000 for Clopton’s wife and children.
“I want you to know that I hear every message and love you so much. Thanks for all the support, it means the world to me,” Clopton said.
Clopton is hoping to eventually make live podcast recordings and invite teens on his show. The counselor also wants to write a book about his experience to help those who are struggling with similar circumstances.
“It’s a tough race but a race worth it when you still have so many goals to go through and you feel it and you know it,” said Clopton.
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The Clopton podcast can be found here.