Mental health is a topic that affects the majority of any given population, especially teenagers. In this interview, we will be featuring Abigail Cholewa, who is a teen from Delaware, and talking about her experience with quarateen, misconceptions, and so much more!
Please introduce and tell us a little about yourself.
“Hi, my names Abigail Cholewa and I’m a sophomore from Delaware. I’m an athlete that loves helping others and loves helping people and their mental health. I’ve recently gone through a rough time with my mental health and the pandemic and I like to help others get through their rough times through this crazy time period.”
What made you interested in advocating for mental health?
“During quarantine, I struggled and sometimes still do struggle with my mental health. I’ve seen mental health misconceptions and prejudices first hand and I realized I needed to advocate for myself as well as others. I’ve also seen the myth of physical health being more important than mental health being pushed into the youth which is incorrect and demeaning.”
Why do you think the stigma around mental health is so heightened?
“I think many people do not understand the exact struggle with mental health if they haven’t experienced it. I know i struggled understanding others struggles when I haven’t experienced it yet. Mental health hasn’t been a priority in many peoples lives so when people do struggle with it, other people ignore them or simply don’t understand because they haven’t experienced it.”
How do you deal with your own mental health?
“To keep a good mindset, I talk about my emotions with my friends. This isn’t the best method for everyone but it works for me. I also turn to my sports to relieve my stress as well as journaling.”
What do you think schools can do to be more understanding towards students with psychological conditions?
“I think they can advertise the fact that it’s okay not to be okay more. Schools constantly say they’re there for you, but this isn’t the case for some students. Schools need to push the fact that they’re ACTUALLY there for you and have services to help you. They need to educate students on signs of people struggling with mental health and what to do when you are struggling.”
Other than mental health, what other global issues interest you?
“I’m very interested in many global issues. Some of them include: global warming, racism, sexism, pollution, sexual assault, and poverty.”
Would you say you are a person that people share their feelings easily with?
“I do think I am a person in which people can easily share their feelings with.”
What self-care practices would you recommend doing?
“I would recommend talking out your feelings, journaling about yourself in another persons point of view, mediating, baking, and reading.”
Do you believe that you have a good support system?
” I believe I have a decent support system.”
What does mental health mean to you?
“To me, mental health is life in general. What’s going on in your head is how you will act in actual life. Having a clear headspace, a positive mindset, and great mental health leads to amazing things. Having bad mental health and not trying to help yourself won’t.”
It was great to learn more about Abigail Cholewa and her personal experience with mental health. As always, your story does and always will matter.