Movement For Mental Health


By Madissyn Moore, Reporter

As many of you know, every year we vote for junior and student body Presidents and Vice Presidents. Kyla Dill is one of the upcoming seniors running for student body Vice President for the next school year. Although she became public about her decision to run a little late, her ambitions and goals for next year are big. 

Kyla has made it known that one of the major goals she wants to accomplish is mental health awareness. She is striving to make the mental health of students at Palmer Ridge an important topic and to get better help for students who are struggling with their mental health. Last week Kyla started an IGTV (Instagram TV) series highlighting this issue. She interviewed 5 people: Mrs. Schleiker, Oliver Hayes, Keira Tubbs, Natalie DeNardis, and Dr. Bram,  asking them a series of questions on mental health and changes they wanted to see during the school year.

Mental health is a growing issue that teenagers especially are dealing with. According to an article by Science Daily, “The rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts or other suicide-related outcomes increased 47 percent from 2008 to 2017 (from 7.0 percent to 10.3 percent).” Depression, anxiety, and many other mental health issues are growing and it’s time we take a stronger initiative in helping our students and each other deal with it. 

I asked Kyla a few questions about her series and her campaign for Vice President:

Question: What is the goal you want to accomplish with your IGTV series?

  • “The main goal I had with this series was giving students a better look at my views on the tougher subjects. I wanted to bring to light the conversations that sometimes we are scared to have. Our community needs to be discussing all of these conversations. Regardless of the outcome of this election, I wanted to hear from the students, and get insight on varying topics, and how to address them.”

Question: Why is this important to you?

  • “It’s extremely important to me because the issues that I addressed in my videos such as mental health, community outreach, student-teacher relationships, and the harder-hitting topics, are things very near to my heart. These are topics that need to be addressed and need to be given a solution. Mental health has been a huge part of my life, and just a huge part of our generation. That being said, adults have always been afraid of that conversation, which is why I am choosing to speak loudly on it because in all reality it needs to be spoken about regardless.” 

Question: How did you get the idea to start the IGTV series?

  • “One of my really close friends who has so much experience with marketing and her own company had reached out to me with new campaign ideas, this IGTV being one of them. I can’t take any credit for coming up with this idea.”

Question: Do you think this will be something you will continue next school year or even over the summer?

  • “I’m planning on continuing it once a week for however long it takes for the students to have clarity in the future of Palmer Ridge. I will be definitely switching up the format and the way I do it, just improving the overall formal of it.”

Question: Why are you running for Vice President?

  • “I am running for vice president, because I have always been extremely passionate about what I already do as Junior Class VP, and being so involved in school-sponsored events. I love getting to plan and coordinate the fun stuff, while also working on stuff like our suicide prevention training program that we are slowly implementing at PR.” 

Question: Why are you doing this now? Why didn’t you do this earlier? 

  • “I wanted to do this now because I think the students need something like this right now that lets them know in a sense that they are being heard and there’s still hope for our future outside of this awful event,[Covid-19]. I wanted to also use this as part of my campaigning process and informing the students on what I wanted to do with the upcoming school year.”

Question: If you could speak to the student body right now what would you say to them?

  • “I hope each and every one of you are staying healthy and taking this time to self improve. I know for a fact that this next school year is going to be absolutely amazing, as we all go into it with a greater appreciation for what we did not get to experience in these last few months. I care for all of you and I hope this isolation is not being unkind to you, and if it is just knowing that you are not alone. you are loved and cared for and we will be back to normal life soon.”

If you are interested in watching Kyla’s IGTV series, click the link below:

Mental health is a battle many are fighting and with each other’s support, we will win. In the comments, feel free to share how you feel about mental health and your thoughts on the matter.

PSA: Voting for student body Vice President will take place April 27th until May 1st. A link will be sent out that will take you to the voting site. Students of all grade levels can vote for the Vice President.