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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Brian

Tackling Mental Health for Youth

Children’s mental health is an evolving crisis that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosts Julia and Keerthi dive into the mental crisis while interviewing teens. Kirpa talks about the factors that contribute to decreased mental stability including neglect, abuse, bullying, or trauma. In Connecticut, House Bill No. 5001 of 2022 is a crucial step in abating the issue. Teen guest, Nilan Kathir, has researched the bill, its provisions, public testimonies, amendments, and has spoken with state lawmakers and experts in the field. These efforts collectively reveal the politics involved in the bill’s passing, barriers of implementation, and effects of the bill in children’s mental healthcare. He shares his findings on Express Yourself! The Breakdown reporter, Rory, advocates for schools as the best place to teach children about mental health, self-awareness, and coping skills. He believes If we can help schools teach children and their families how to manage their emotions in a healthy way from a very young age, we can create safer communities that can help everyone feel their very best. Being there for a child means taking care of oneself first, demonstrating and modeling good self-care and mental health awareness. Positive reinforcement is important in building stronger capabilities to overcome challenges.

“A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality and support.” Kate Middleton

Bio: Nilan Kathir

Nilan Kathir is a junior at Choate Rosemary Hall where he is a member of his school’s JFK Signature Program in Government and Public Service. His interest in public policy began in 2022 during the summer abroad program where he first-handedly witnessed the inequalities affecting indigenous communities in Guatemala. Inspired by this international experience, Nilan interned with a State Representative in CT, where he helped with the election campaign and received feedback from constituents. In the long run, he aspires to pursue a career in public policy. In addition, Nilan enjoys participating in Model UN, mock trial, organizing events for the South Asian Association, writing for his school newspaper, playing soccer and rowing varsity crew.

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