Jack Dacey is a sixteen-year-old on a mission to combat the stigma of mental illness on this planet. Jack grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. Later in life he transitioned from his home environment to a boarding school at Phillips Academy, Andover. Jack has become familiar with teenagers who experience mental illness and the environment that mental illness can foster in its current stigma.
Jack is surrounded by many people who suffer from mental illnesses on the bustling campus of his new environment. His school is one of immense pressure and for many, oftentimes a lack of support. Many of his peers refuse to deal with issues they face in the stressful academic community, and it can come in forms such as self harm and substance abuse. Due to the large number of students affected by mental illness, Phillips Academy is attempting to take steps to ensure that students are safe and healthy--however, a majority of the challenge lies in the perspective on mental health among the students on campus. There are support facilities available there, but Jack feels that the community as whole can place a stigma on seeking out help and admitting when they are struggling. Students at Andover can be sent home on med-leave at the school’s discretion, leading the majority of students to avoid consulting health services. Therefore, many people on campus are not receiving the support that they need and are left to deal with issues themselves. Jack’s fascination and desire to help those with mental illness stems from the neglect that mental health receives no matter the location. Jack feels that it is crucial that these issues need to be discussed more and there needs to be more support available both on campus and beyond.
From his experiences, Jack has been inspired to raise awareness and destigmatize mental health. He wishes for a future where people realize that mental health issues are not something to have shame over, and they should not feel that they are less of a person because they suffer from it. Jack is more than aware of how plugged in young people are to technology, and he hopes to be able to use technology to solve the issues facing the mental health field. He wants to use technology to make people feel less alone and assist in their process of reaching out and seeking help. Jack believes that there needs to be a change from the current status quo, and he would like to play a part in that.
Tags: Health, Mental_Health, Teenagers, School, Holly_Ansel, Jack_Dacey, High_School, Boarding_School, Stigma, Mental_Illnesses, Technology, Health,Inclusion, Perspective, Respect, Medication, Therapy, Counseling, Depression