An Effort to Change Perspectives

Emily Leung aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health


Emily Leung’s (12) flyer hangs in the hallway leading to the commons. “There are posters all around,” Leung said. She encourages the student body to interact with the CAPS students’ different passion project flyers.

The CAPS students at OHS have each taken the initiative for a passion project of their choosing, and Emily Leung (12) chose to focus hers on the topic of mental health.

“Every CAPS student has a different passion project and each one is individually important,” Leung said.

In choosing the topic for her own project, Leung turned to the people around her.

“I chose mental health as my focus,” Leung said. “…I realized that, especially in a high school environment, there’s a lot of poor mental health.”

Leung, however, isn’t just observing strangers around the building.

“A lot of my close peers struggle with it and usually it’s taken pretty light-heartedly,” Leung said. “It’s a lot harder to talk about it seriously, and so they kind of just joke about it.”

Though mental health is something very close around her, Leung doesn’t feel as nonchalant about it as some.

“I wanted to shed light to show them that it’s really okay to talk about it on a deeper level and to show that it’s okay to struggle,” Leung said.

The effort to demonstrate this is due to Leung’s perspective on mental health’s effect on an individual.

“It’s very important since poor mental health can affect everyone very differently,” Leung said, “and it honestly can flip a whole life.”

Due to this profound effect, Leung set out to make an impact on those surrounding her.

“I want them to know that the stigma around mental health is just a stigma,” Leung said. “I want to get rid of the stigma of sharing your struggles and talking about the topics of mental health. It should be okay to do that.”