Student hoping to score scholarship while raising mental health awareness
Published Thursday, January 17, 2019 11:42AM EST
Maysee McLean is a 17-year-old student who is hoping to raise awareness about depression and mental health issues while also trying to win a $5,000 scholarship.
McLean is one of five students from across North America who is in the in the race to win the scholarship through SOS Safe Magazine.
The magazine covers issues that impact teens including bullying, depression, alcohol and drug abuse. They asked students to apply with video essays about topics that impact teens.
McLean chose to do her video about depression. She tells CTV News it's an important issue this day-in-age with all the social pressures.
Although she has never experienced depression herself, McLean spent hours researching and reading stories about what depression feels like and starts her video with a monologue about experiencing depression.
"I haven't lost anyone close to me per se, but I know people who have lost loved ones to suicide and I just think it's so sad that they felt that their only option was to take their own life," McLean says.
McLean says she's hoping to spark change and help "end the stigma" surrounding mental health, and would like to see more education surrounding the signs and symptoms of depression start at the elementary school level. Her hope is that if students know the signs and symptoms they can help identity when one of their peers is struggling.
People can vote HERE every 24 hours. Voting runs until Jan. 31 at midnight.
McLean says even if she doesn’t win, she’s grateful and proud of herself for making it this far. She hopes to spread the message that it’s important to end the stigma and would like to see better mental health education for students starting in elementary school.
She is hoping to win the scholarship so she can attend Ryerson University for their media studies program, and with the cost of education, she says the scholarship would be helpful.