We are a team of passionate young people from the San Francisco Bay Area, working in collaboration with the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing. Having had personal experience with suicide loss, we know firsthand how media coverage of such tragedies can complicate the healing process and how suicide is too often sensationalized and misrepresented in the media. By starting a conversation between young people and the media, we hope to educate people about the harmful effects of irresponsible representation and encourage members of the media to cover mental health in a more hopeful and healing way.
Chloe Sorensen, 20
Chloe is a student studying psychology at Stanford University. She founded Youth United because she is especially interested in the use of storytelling as a form of healing, as well as the impact that society's current narratives surrounding mental illness have on survivors. In the past she has worked with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the Palo Alto Unified School District, and the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in order to increase access to youth mental health care in Santa Clara County.
Derek Zhou, 18
Derek is a first-year student at Washington University in St. Louis. He loves doing theatre, but one of his other passions is social justice. He is very grateful that the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing’s allcove youth advisory group has given him the opportunity to pursue advocacy and help decrease the stigma surrounding mental health.
Nura Mostaghimi, 17
Nura is a first-year student studying biology at the University of Utah. She is passionate about empowering youth to become agents of change in their community to address pressing topics, particularly mental health and wellness. Through her collaboration with the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, she has worked on community efforts and projects intended to improve the mental health literacy and general wellbeing of youth in Santa Clara County.
Danny Howell, 19
Danny is a sophomore at Brandeis University studying neuroscience and public health, with the goal of eventually going to medical school. He became involved in mental health after the start his time at Gunn high school following the deaths of several of his peers. He’s interested in how healthcare can be distributed equitably to those who need the most support, the biological manifestations of illnesses, as well as the effects of trauma in young children.
Ellie Fitton, 17
Ellie is a junior at Palo Alto High School where she takes part in the student journalism program and girls lacrosse. She feels lucky to be a part of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing because it has given her a chance to be a voice advocating for youth in her community through innovation, creativity, and collaboration. She believes that youth representation is critical in the process of raising awareness surrounding mental health and providing accessible mental health care to those her age.
Zoe Adelsheim, 18
Now a first-year student at the University of California San Diego, Zoe Adelsheim is a passionate youth mental health advocate. In October 2018, she, along with three other youth advocates, put on a community event called the Mindful Media Conference about the importance of proper media representation surrounding issues such as mental health and sexual violence. While she spends a lot of time working on advocacy projects, she also loves to play soccer and box.
Lia Salvatierra, 17
Lia is a senior at Palo Alto High School. As a mental health advocate who is passionate about combating stigma, she is excited to work on this initiative as a way to help eliminate this issue at its largest source: media. Beyond discussion, Lia is looking to take action with this extraordinary group of young adults.
Phebe Cox, 17
Phebe is a junior at Gunn High School who enjoys playing soccer, hiking, drinking Philz coffee, and reading books in her free time. In addition to working with Youth United, she is on the board for Let’s Bring Change to Mind and the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing’s Youth Advisory Group.