While high school students cope with anxiety and depression, a school mental health club fights stigma against mental illnesses.
Cypress High has a chapter of Lets Erase the Stigma (LETS), a club based in Los Angeles which is devoted to changing perceptions of and attitudes about mental illness. Its not a support group, but it offers an area for students to talk about mental health for four times a month during lunch.
There are about 25 regular members who fill a classroom with standing room only to listen to their peers share stories.
Senior Sophia Milcevski deals with anxiety and depression, and says that students are under a great deal of pressure. Anxiety is treated as a normal condition. After discovering “pro-ana” blogs online, which promote anorexia nervosa, she became concerned about misinformation surrounding mental illness.
“For me, erasing the stigma is really about spreading information and making sure people know it’s not a choice to have mental illness,” Sophia said.