“Humans of the Sacred Heart” – Ila David ’24


Why do you think it is vital to raise mental health awareness? 

“It’s important to raise mental health awareness because mental illness is something that so many people struggle with that is still surrounded by stigmas.  Thankfully, our generation is increasingly normalizing the conversation around mental health, but there is still so much work to be done to eradicate these stigmas.  As someone who has struggled with mental health, I believe spreading more awareness about mental health will help create a supportive, understanding environment that prioritizes mental wellness for everyone.  Raising awareness helps to educate and provides people with the proper help they need to take care of themselves and others.  Without mental health awareness, misinformation about mental illness grows, hurting the people affected by such illnesses.”

As a co-head of the Behind Every Smile Club, what do you hope to bring to the school community?

“Along with promoting a healthy and safe environment for conversations about mental health, I would like to prioritize mental health prevention, support, and recovery.  As high schoolers, we are all going through so much change as we begin to discover who we are while balancing work, friendships, etc.  Because of this, it is vital that students feel seen and heard when they are struggling, which is why I want to continue the push for mental health conversations in our school community.  The journey to self-love and mental wellness starts with good communication and knowing how to aid oneself and others.”

Why do you think it is essential to spark a suicide prevention discussion among teenagers?

“Suicide is not something that can be ignored.  It is a real social justice issue that can affect humans of all ages, sizes, races, genders, and so on, whether they have a mental illness or not.  Teenagers are not strangers to the reality that so many younger people are affected by suicide and die by suicide.  One in five adolescents contemplate suicide each day.  Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that asking someone they think is at risk directly about it will plant the idea of suicide into their heads.  But in reality, having these conversations and being direct when you think someone is at risk can allow struggling individuals to accept help.  Therefore, by having these conversations about suicide as a community, we can remind ourselves that suicide is preventable and that we can fight to save lives together.”

The King Street Chronicle thanks junior Ila David ’24 for her contributions to “Humans of Sacred Heart.”