Reach out. Find hope in connection & solidarity.
Struggling with mental health is a challenge that surrounds me. Whether it’s working on a teen-to-teen crisis hotline, facing my own problems with depression, or preventing suicide in my school, I see the debilitating isolation that teenagers with mental illnesses have experienced everywhere. However, I’ve also seen the life-changing hope that peers can find when they reach out for help. I want others to know the importance of personal connection and honesty when struggling with mental health; it’s changed my life, and it will change many more to come.
In the fall of 2019, as a senior in high school, I started Live To Tell, a student-run suicide prevention nonprofit organization. This nonprofit runs through the high schools in my district, organizing clubs, raising awareness about mental health, and representing youth in advocating for suicide prevention policies in our school administration and in legislation. I founded this nonprofit to give my peers a way to get involved and to connect with other students so that they can play a role in preventing suicide at their school.