I grew up in a Latino country where mental health issues are depicted as shameful and unspeakable, dismissing you as "loco" if you express how you feel. I also always wondered, "Why do people attribute mental health issues to personality traits (such as laziness or weakness)?" and "What role does culture have in coping mechanisms?" These are my primary motivators to advocate for mental health in youth.
The Get In Touch Blog is a global platform that enables individuals from all walks of life around the world to infuse this space with their stories and lived experiences with mental health because the future of mental health lies in translating our awareness into equitable and valuable action. And, it is time we start giving the microphone to those that have been historically silenced and marginalized, amplifying their voices and experiences to drive the conversation forward.
In 2020, I began my mental health advocacy at my high school, where I founded the first mental health awareness non-profit with over 400 members, In Touch. This experience laid the groundwork and foundation for me to continue my advocacy after high school in the policy field, where I'm currently a partner of the Hopeful Future Campaigns, actively working with champions in several states to advance legislation that will improve school mental health services. I'm also a member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Southeast Florida committee, as well as a part of Mental Health America's Young Leaders Council.