We Need to Take Mental Health Seriously

Teens need a place free from social pressures

Mackenzie Bennett, Staff Writer

My experiences at the Long Island Teen Institute Conference have brought to my attention the number of kids in high school that don’t know where or how to receive help for their own issues. It has also brought to my attention the lack of positivity and the need for a happy and accepting place for teens to congregate and talk to each other.
We are always “connected”, but only virtually. We always have our phones out. It seems as if it is our way of looking at life. Everything can be photographed or typed and saved. Teens have lost their imagination and their drive from this way of living. Our children are being manipulated into low self-esteem from social media apps. Everyone cares about how many likes they get on a picture or how many followers they have; meanwhile, life is slipping through their fingers. Teens need an outlet from their stress and their social pressures where they can be unapologetically themselves and that is the environment I would like to create in this school. I want kids to feel secure and safe in their own skin. I want them to be free of judgment and social pressures. I want them to learn to have a positive outlook on life. I want them to feel beautiful and loved. This should be a place for kids to let loose and be able to be their true selves and learn how to persevere when life gets dim. I want all of us to come up with our own passion projects and turn the negative energy into a positive one. We always hear these stories of how people went through a dark time and came out on the other side to make a difference, but you don’t need to go through a rough patch to make a difference in this world. With a positive outlook and passionate ideas, we can do anything. We can make a change in how people view us. We can make a change in this world one positive attitude at a time. Kids deserve something to strive for and I want this to be the place where they can find this drive and determination.