CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts

My message: Protect students with mental illnesses

Dear future president,

Protect teenagers with mental illnesses. Teenagers are more susceptible to anxiety disorders, and depression, which are common mental illnesses caused by pressure from school, the media, and family; many teens don’t know how to deal with these illnesses properly.

According to, 1 in 5 teenagers suffer from a mental illness and many suffer in silence, which many people do not know. We are told “It’s just a little stress,” or “You’re just a kid, you have no problems,” and we are aggravated with it. Teenagers with mental illnesses end up internalizing their struggles because those we seek help from ignore us and our problems!

According to, suicide has become the third leading cause of death of teenagers, and the numbers will rise if our illnesses are continuously ignored. Stop letting our cries for help be neglected and treat us like human beings for once.


Mackenzie Smith

Champs Charter High School of the Arts

Los Angeles, Calif.