Author - Tyler Charles The large door labeled "Mental Health" stood at the end of the hallway. Maybe it really was ominous, or maybe it was just my imagination, but I took a deep breath before pressing the black button beside the door, fully aware that a camera was trained on my face and that someone—somewhere—would be scrutinizing me. "Yes?" a woman's voice emerged from a speaker beside the door. "Yeah, I'm here to see Paige" (names have been changed). I tried to sound confident, as if I'd done this a million times—or at least once—before. "I'm, uh, her campus minister." I heard a buzz as the outer door unlocked. Cautiously, I pulled the door open and stepped inside. I'd been a campus minister for roughly seven months. The previous summer I'd sat in a classroom taking notes during the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) New Staff Training. As extensive as those weeks of training had been, they hadn't quite prepared me for this. Not for official visits to a mental health facility. Not for Paige. After being admitted through both sets of locked doors, what I found inside was … exactly what I expected. This mental health unit (the first I'd ever entered) looked just like every facility I'd seen portrayed in a movie or TV show: white walls, blank faces, a patient sitting alone and murmuring (and occasionally weeping), people walking laps in the hallway, pills dispensed in little cups by a nurse behind a counter, group therapy sessions, and a noticeable absence of belts and shoelaces. I signed in at the counter where the pills were dispensed, but I had to wait for a few moments before I could see Paige. As I loitered by the counter, trying to pretend like I belonged, one of the patients—a middle-aged woman—approached me from behind. "Are you the pastor?" Campus minister? Yes. Pastor? No, not really. But that's not what I said. Before I knew it, I was saying, "Um, yeah. That's me." (I suppose this is what I get for parking in one of the two spaces reserved for "Clergy Parking.") "Will you pray for me?" "Um, sure." She bowed her head. (See more)