Voices – 11/17/20

Kaya Rossey – Junior

Tell us a bit about yourself! What kind of things do you like to do, hobbies, fun facts, etc.?

 My name is Kaya, I’m a junior and some things that I love are writing, modeling for art students, and public speaking (if it’s something I’m passionate about). 

What are you passionate about speaking out on in the community? Are there any organizations or clubs that you’re a part of that work to help spread the messages that you’re advocating for?

 I’m super passionate about advocating for the mental health and mental illness community and educating others about it. A huge aspect of my life that helps me nurture this passion is the school’s Hope Squad, I have been a speaker on school panels and videos to share my story with others as well as sharing resources. 

What do you hope to do through spreading the word and informing others about these topics?

 I hope through advocacy other students feel less alone as they go through life, I want to acknowledge the difficult uncomfortable aspects of mental illness that can leave people feeling isolated so we as young people can work to end the stigma around mental health. 

How does your identity and the things you support play a role in the way you view the world?

 My outlook on the world has definitely changed as I started sharing my journey with mental health, being diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 6th grade and later being diagnosed with ADHD and OCD it was not always easy being hopeful for the future and honestly sometimes I still struggle with that same hopeless feeling but as I started being more vulnerable with the people around me and sharing my writing on social media I realized that there is such a big community and that I believe in every single one of the people who read my work and so I needed to put that same belief in myself. Yes, of course I slip up but I have learned to give myself grace as I go through life day by day. 

Why are these topics so meaningful to you?

 Mental health is meaningful to me because it controls a lot of my life, some days I can’t get out of bed, eat, or go through the basic motions of life because mental illness is so draining. I felt a lot shame for not keeping up with my peers, going to therapy, and being on medication until I realized all of these are common for people to feel and need and not something to be ashamed of, so I made it my mission to let others know the same thing. 

What would you like to see change or improve within the world we live in? That is, what do you want to change by advocating for the topics you’re speaking out on?

 The change I would like to see in the world is having mental health and illness not be a taboo topic that people are shamed or judged for but something that is normal and important in everyday life, ultimately ending the stigma around it. 

If there’s one thing you want people to take away from reading this, what would it be?

 If there’s one thing people take away from reading this, it would that they are not alone. It is okay to struggle with mental health, especially with everything going on in the world. Give yourself credit for the little things and remember that someone always cares. 

Interview by Kaelyn Rodrigues (krodrigues.chronicle@gmail.com)

Page Design by Aadrija Biswas (abiswas.chronicle@gmail.com)