COMMUNITY VOICES

A safe place for teens to speak about mental health.

Speaking about mental health can be liberating and we want to promote candid conversation about this currently stigmatized subject. Here is a collection of stories, tips, and various submissions from teens related to mental health. We welcome your voice, so if you have anything to say, feel free to contact us through the “contact” page or the button below or fill out the submission form. Take care everyone. 

youth climate action team inc (YCAT)

Redondo Beach, California; Pearland, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Staten Island, New York

CLIMATE ANXIETY, THE INVISIBLE THORN OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS (PART 1)

Published: May 5, 2020

“The teens who organize around the climate crisis work to tackle a global catastrophe that has yet to be solved. Alongside this strenuous and herculean feat, they go through the daily stressors of a teenager in the modern age: school, family, friends, etc. The intersection between the climate crisis and mental health crisis is apparent and its prevalence must be normalized. In partnership with Heads Up Teens, Youth Climate Action Team Inc (YCAT), a global youth climate movement, is working to highlight the notion of climate anxiety. Whether it be to give a name to a feeling that teens often face yet struggle to label or emphasizing that youth climate activists are not alone in their worries, we hope to drive change through this writing. “

jin ma

Fairfax, Virginia

Born Ordinarily, Live Extraordinarily

Published: April 21,  2020

“As humans, we are always eager to live life as poetic and picturesque as possible. However, the truth is that everyone was born ordinarily, except some were able to discover the beauty of life and live extraordinarily.”

Tiffany Fang

Herndon, Virginia

Not American Enough

Published: April 14,  2020

“This article is written to let the young Asian American community know that they are not alone in their feelings of isolation, fear, and discrimination. It is recall of the shared experiences that many Asian Americans, like myself, have endured throughout our years in America. After the AAPI hate and awareness that has been spreading, I found it very important to not only voice my own feelings towards the situation but to reach other people as well. It is important to come together during times like this, especially when the Asian community has been silenced for so long.”

jason guo

Connecticut, United States

"marrow work"

Published: April 7, 2020

” “marrow work”

a poem”

Zarif HASAN

Oak Hill, Virginia

Hippos at Church Camp

Published: March 24, 2020

“My article is about pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I went to a church camp in Iowa even though I’m not Christian. I discovered a lot about myself during this experience and grew a lot as an individual. “

Will hayden

Oakton, Virginia

The Mind Muscle Connection

Published: March 17, 2020

“Many people view mental health and physical health as completely separate from one another, however, the mind and the body are deeply connected. In this article, I will detail how taking care of body has helped to combat mental health issues over the past year.”

Elena Gonzalez Guillermo

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Mental Health in the Dominican Republic

Published: February 24, 2020

“In this article, I will be talking about mental health in the Dominican Republic. I will be mentioning issues such as homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and transphobia, so if those issues are triggering, I recommend not reading this article.”

claire zhang

Chantilly, VA

Claire Zhang

Published: February 3, 2020

“I hope to raise awareness about quarantine 15 weight gain during quarantine and the effect that it can have on mental health. I provide quotes to inspire body positivity and appreciation of beauty. I hope to help anyone that feels like family members may be suggesting that change is bad. The transformations we undergo during this challenging time should be celebrated and not portrayed negatively.”

Meghna Parameswaran and Navin Durbhakula

Maryland and Virginia

How to combat stigmas surrounding mental health

Published: November 19, 2020

Meghna Parameswaran and Navin Durbhakula and offer their opinion on the current societal stigmas surrounding mental health and ways for each of us to fight this. 

ANONYMOUS VOICE

TRUST ME, IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.

Published: October 28, 2020

“I want to bring awareness to depression and mental health from a common perspective of a student. My identity may be a secret but hopefully, you can trust me when I say and tell my story that it’s okay not to be okay.”

maya marathe

Oakton, Virginia

My Experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Published: October 24, 2020

“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an amazing tool, especially for anxiety. Hopefully, this article can help you learn about how it works and how to apply it to your life.”

DREW KIMBLE

Oakton, Virginia

How I ran away from my problems (in a good way)

Published: October 7, 2020

“Through quarantine and online school, it is hard to find a way to escape the tedious schedule everyday. In this article I talk about my newfound love for running, the various benefits I’ve found from it and how it can be beneficial to all students.”

anthony grimm

Oakton, Virginia

The Mental health of a student athlete

Published: October 1, 2020

“In this article I not only talk about my personal struggles with mental health ,but also the pressure of being a successful student athlete.”

Ray FormaN

Oakton, Virginia

"Going Your Own Way"

Published: September 23, 2020

“Life moves fast and sometimes we don’t realize until it’s too late. In an age of ruthless competition, it’s important to remember what really matters in life. Slow down and look around. The possibilities are endless but are fleeting by the day.”

heads up teens

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Oakton, Virginia

Advice about high school we wish we heard

Published: September 19, 2020

For a special edition of Community Voices, we at Heads Up Teens wanted to share some of our personal high school experiences, general advice, and lessons we’ve picked up over the years. Pranay, Kevina, Adam, Alex, and Maya share their advice on making sure you get the most out of the short four years of high school. If you’re a freshman, or really any grade in high school, we hope these tips will help you on your journey. 

keelin reilly

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Virginia, USA

"life's a great balancing act"

Published: September 17, 2020

“As teenagers, and especially now with online school, we are constantly trying to balance each of our responsibilities. We tend to compromise our mental health for other aspects of our life, but in this article I explain why our mental health is just as important as everything else we are balancing and why it is okay—and necessary—to “turn off” school. “

Sophia young

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Herndon, Virginia

You're not alone: reaching out for help

Published: September 13, 2020

“In today’s world, being a high schooler can be mentally exhausting. Balancing academics, sports, extracurriculars, social lives, and family can put a lot of pressure on a teenager, and can be extremely anxiety-inducing. ” 

Sophia reflects on her experience with stress and anxiety and offers insight onto her new perspective on handling school, extracurriculurs, and approaching life in general. 

dhruv sundararaman

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Virginia, USA

"THE UNSPOKEN PANDEMIC"

Published: September 9, 2020

“I wrote this article because I feel it carries a message that’s been taboo for generations. Having this experience made me realize how urgently progress needs to be made when it comes to lifting the stigma on mental health.”

Elena Gonzalez Guillermo

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Dominican Republic

"SUICIDE HOTLINES AND WHAT TO DO IF THEY DON'T WORK"

Published: September 2, 2020

Elena Gonzalez Guillermo comes all the way from the Dominican Republic! She offers many mental health resources for anyone to use, as suicide hotlines- while having benefited many-may not be completely effective for everyone. We thank her for her voice- check it out! 

Adam Xu

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Virginia, USA

"MY PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS"

Published: August 26, 2020

“In this article, I talk about my recent struggles with mental health and the dangers of social media. Read this to see how deleting social media allowed me to grow out of one of the darkest periods in my life. “

Sofia weaver

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Virginia, USA

"dealing with grief as a teenager"

Published: August 24, 2020

Dealing with the loss of a loved one and the grief that comes with it can be difficult for anyone at any age, but is especially difficult for teenagers since we have so much on our plate already. In this article I’ll talk about my experiences as a teen who’s had to deal with the loss of a loved one and how I’ve learned to cope with everything that comes along with it. 

SoPHIA TROSHYNSKI

Virginia, USA

"WHY I PRACTICE YOGA AND HOW YOU CAN TOO"

Published: August 24, 2020

Sophia Tryoshynski talks about how practicing yoga has benefited her in a multitude of ways. She also speaks about myths surrounding yoga and gives amazing advice on how to begin practicing yoga. Check her out!

ANONYMOUS VOICE

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"MENTAL HEALTH"

Published: August 24, 2020

Even in an area as privileged as Fairfax County in Northern Virginia, mental health issues still are prevalent. They are often invisible, going undetected, even within those we are close to. This story is deeply saddening, but teaches us how imperative it is to look out for those close to us.  Take care of those around you and youself.