In our entry, we showcase the story of a high school water polo coach and her journey with mental health. Coach Veronica reveals her past struggles in battling her mental health issues with depression and ADHD and how water polo became a sanctuary for her. The tight-knit community of teammates helped support Coach Veronica through her struggles, and as she soon realized the impact that an uplifting community has on an athlete’s mental health, she became empowered to create a supportive environment for the next generation of water-polo athletes. Veronica has not only powered through her own struggles, but has taken her experiences and learned values to create an environment that is supportive for others as well.
“Querido Mexico” – Short Film is a poem I wrote to my home country – and overall the people in my situation – that contrasts the differences in cultures between Mexico City and Palo Alto, California. It is a thank you note to Mexico for keeping me grounded and for helping me not fall into the trap that is the toxic academic competition that goes on in my area’s schools. It goes over the importance of living in the moment, having time to be a child, and making choices for your own hapinness’ sake as it is your life and nobody elses. Living in misery to make other people happy can have grave consequences.
My film talks who my mental heath hero is and why they helped me.
This category reminded me of my auntie Melea and I wanted to take it as a chance to honor her.
I am lucky. There are so many people around me that I consider to be a hero, but the one that helps me the most mentally and physically is my mother. She is everything to me, and always has been. I know that I will always need her, and I’m thankful that she is my Mental Health Hero.
I have a friend who is always upbeat and radiates positivity; she is a person who makes everyone around her feel good. She not only supports and consoles me but also those friends around her when they are unhappy; in my eyes, she is a mental health hero who will always be there to encourage and listening to everyone. But one day I recognized that my friend, the sweet girl who was always smiling and happy, was not as strong and positive as she appeared to me and other friends. I eventually realized that her wonderful attributes and cheery demeanor were all masks she had made to disguise the darkness inside of her. My friend is currently suffering from depression and is undergoing psychological treatment. Now, her condition has improved, and she is beginning to open up more in sharing her struggles with friends and me.
I wanted to create an artistic portrayal of how words can empower people and encourage them to persevere through difficult circumstances. People say that actions matter than words, but I think that words should not be underestimated in how powerful they can be. When I was creating this artwork, I wanted to juxtapose sadness and relief to tell this person’s story: unhappy at first, but as they glance at the phone lying beside them and see the messages they are receiving, they feel relief knowing that there are people that are concerned for them and that are willing to listen to their troubles. I feel that everyone going through tough times deserves to receive those messages. Whether it’s just “Are you okay?” or “Do you want to talk about it?” all of it matters. Those kinds of messages can fill people with the hope they need to persevere through their situation.