As part of a TEDx event in early February, Dianna Paige ’19 delivered a presentation, “It’s time to start the conversation about teenage mental health,” at Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, N.Y.
“Teenagers and individuals of all ages are struggling with mental health issues, and the majority of them are keeping these experiences to themselves,” says Paige, who is double majoring in psychology and mental health and society. “This talk is an incredible opportunity for me to be able to send the message that now more than ever it is vital that people begin to actively work to reduce the ever-present stigma associated with mental health.”
Paige’s TEDx talk, related to a 2016 presentation she gave at the East House Recovery Conference, explores the severity of the mental health struggles facing the Millennials, using personal anecdotes, data about mental health, advice for adults to reach out to teens, and suggestions for teens themselves regarding self-help and seeking professional assistance.
“Helping teens recognize that something is wrong, and that is okay, is the first step on their road to recovery,” Paige explains. “I also hope to use this presentation to show struggling teens that they are not alone in their pain—I have been there too, and I am surviving.”
Paige’s talk, which will be available online in the coming months, was hosted through the TEDx Program, an independent network of conferences designed to spark conversation, connection and community. Inspired by the non-profit media organization TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), TEDx events feature live presenters and screenings of TED Talks videos to help communities, organizations and individuals engage with scientific, cultural and academic topics.
On campus, Paige serves as vice president of the Girl Up Club and is a member of the Beautiful Minds mental health advocacy club and the Mosaic NY 2016-2017 theatre company. At the Centennial Center for Leadership, she is involved in the HWS Leads program, participated in the 2015 Leadership Institute, and served as a Home Group Leader in Leadership Institute 2017, offering a workshop on the relationship between leadership and mental health.