Recognizing Mental Health in Young Girls
Last May, I had the opportunity to attend the “Dear Evan Hansen” event at TIME magazine in New York.
The event was held in order to discuss the importance of recognizing the effects of mental health on teens. Rowan Blanchard, Disney channel’s star on Girl Meets World, was interviewed during the event as a guest speaker. She answered a question about her own experience in coping with mental health. In her response, she gave her thoughts on why mental health has become so prevalent among teens.
During the interview Rowan spoke with compassion about the implications of mental health, specifically on young girls.
Rowan is not surprised “that girls are sad because there is so much stigma to be happy.” She stressed to the audience that it is okay to be unhappy at times and not be perfect. Her talk emphasized the importance of recognizing to not blame teens for any mental health problems. Rowan highlighted the fact that too often do girls feel like they are the “problem” and are to blame. Girls can drown in guilt and should be empowering one another as opposed to feeling ashamed.
Rowan touched upon her own experience with mental health and that for her the best way to cope was talking to her parents.
Rowan acknowledged the fact that she knows parents may not be an option for everyone. However, when it comes to sharing how they are feeling simply talking to anyone can help. Find people who want to help you feel better. Talking to others about how you are feeling is one of the healthiest ways to get better. Even though it is difficult, because it puts you at your most vulnerable state, it’s helpful.
The interview concluded with Rowan stating, I finally feel like “I can just be.”
She expressed how although she may still face mental health struggles from time to time, she feels comfortable in her own skin and expressing the raw, uncut, and true version of herself. Whether it is through social media, meeting fans, or interviews, she does her best to always put forth the most genuine version of herself in order to show young girls that it is ok to be exactly who you are and it is ok to be perfect not ok all the time.