Millions of people suffer from mental illnesses, many of whom are teenagers. As May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, the sophomore class has taken to Instagram, a popular social media platform, to advocate for those dealing with mental disorders. Posts of green ribbons (the symbol for mental health awareness) have filled people’s feed since the start of the month. Not only have students posted the image, but they each have written a custom message regarding the issue.
One of the leaders of this movement is Perry Gibbs, a sophomore at Yorktown High School. Gibbs currently deals with schizoaffective disorder, a health condition including schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms. He encouraged his friends to post the green ribbon on their Instagrams.
“I tried to get people to post the ribbon because mental illness seems like a really tough topic for people to talk about and I wish more people were comfortable talking about it,” Gibbs said. “What I’m trying to get across is that things need to change in regards to the stigma around mental illness.”
This is the message Gibbs posted to his Instagram:
“This month is Mental Illness Awareness Month. If anyone you know is showing signs of any mental illness, please reach out to them. Society hasn’t done enough as a whole to raise public awareness about the toll mental illness takes every year around the world. To any of my followers: I’m always open to talk and I understand the struggles. Everyone stay aware. #mentalillnessawarenessmonth”