Michelle Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech made me tear up. OK, I’ll be honest, her words made me cry. She spoke to the brokenness I am feeling, that our children are feeling, that we all are feeling.

As a pediatrician currently training to care for children with behavioral concerns, I have uniquely witnessed the impact these past three-and-a-half years have had on our children’s health. There are the children who have experienced panic attacks worrying about their parents being deported; those who have been bullied and called racial slurs; the child of color thrown in juvenile detention for making a verbal comment. Not to mention the rising anxiety, depression and general levels of uncertainty that have only been exacerbated by the chaotic behavior and responses/lack of responses (as well as utter lack of empathy) demonstrated by the individual in our nation’s highest office.

So we should all do what Obama cleverly said via her gold necklace — because she knows that if we are going to judge one another by external factors, she might as well make the message clear: V-O-T-E. “Like our lives depend on it.” Because they — and the lives of our children — do.

Julia Mattson, M.D., Ph.D., Seattle