Meet the Team: Nura Mostaghimi
Hey! My name is Nura Mostaghimi and I am a senior at Palo Alto High School (Paly). I love hiking, spending time with family, and engaging in service projects with friends in the community.
In the first few months of my journey at Paly, my school made it onto the cover of The Atlantic and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) launched a study about an epidemic unfolding amongst my peer group – teen suicide. While I hadn't personally lost a friend to this headline grabbing outbreak, I knew the problem was real, the hurt was deep, and a solution was past due. Was I going to remain silent as an epidemic spread through my community, or was I going to speak up?
This reflection prompted me to get involved in a national suicide prevention organization at my school called Sources of Strength. In early 2016, I was invited by the lead of the organization to collaborate with Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and their Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing to make a video grant proposal to bring headspace centers to the United States. headspace is an Australian chain of mental health centers that offer early intervention services for adolescents, with the goal of providing age-appropriate mental health care to adolescents. Stanford was looking for devoted teen advocates in the community to make a video grant proposal to bring these centers to Santa Clara County.
This initial opportunity to collaborate with the center opened up many doors for me to pursue my interest in mental health advocacy. Not long after making the video, I attended the weekend-long Stanford Mental Health Innovation Challenge (SMHIC) where I competed with my peers to win a $1000 grant to pursue the project idea my team had developed during the challenge. Our idea was to create a video game to teach elementary school students mental health vocabulary and conversation-starters that would promote healthy discussions about mental health at a young age. After winning the grant with my team, I was excited to further my mental health advocacy in the community, and I applied for a position on the Stanford Center’s Youth Advisory Group (YAG).
As a result of being a Youth Advisor, I have met many peers who share the common goal of increasing access to mental health care and starting conversations that destigmatize the topic of mental health, which plays a role in all of our lives. I joined the Youth United for Responsible Media Representation team because I know how important media is in impacting the mental health of adolescents. By working together to address the way media represents issues surrounding mental illness, I believe a significant change can be made and we can redefine the existing narrative.
Our team has so many amazing projects planned, conferences we’re speaking at, and other publicity on the horizon that we cannot wait to share!