Let’s Erase the Stigma

Gina Campos, Photographer

To start fall, Downey High’s newest club, Let’s Erase the Stigma, made their public debut on Sept. 24. Created by four juniors, this club’s members and staff have vowed to dedicate themselves and their time to prioritizing different mental health issues and educate students on both the medical background and recommended coping mechanisms specific to certain illnesses. 


When asked to explain the chain of events leading to this club’s formation,  head coordinator, Daniella Ferreira, 11, agrees her club is timely with the pandemic and distance learning. Ferreira says, “Throughout quarantine I’ve had the opportunity to educate myself on stigmas in the world and recognized the importance in taking part to break those stereotypes.” 


Working twice as hard to get their club the recognition and attention it would during a typical, on campus school year has definitely been a tough obstacle so far. Ferreira agrees that to a certain extent, virtual learning holds back the full potential of her club.


“Even if the accounts posts and information is constantly reposted,  I don’t think everyone pays attention or looks into it,” Ferreira adds, “If we were at school, club rush, VNS, or even talking about it to peers could help better spread the word.” 


Though virtual learning has been known to pose a challenge to all, Ferreira and her colleagues refuse to subdue to these hardships and let their passion towards the subject lead the way. 


 “My objective is to spread awareness about how many stereotypes there are in the world of mental health. Right now, all myself and the whole club can do is use social media to spread awareness and try to educate everyone on the subject through Instagram posts. When we get back to school, I would like to host activities to get everyone involved and change some of the ideas some people have on mental illness.” 


In only three weeks, Lets Erase the Stigma has become a popular outlet to Vikings also interested in educating themselves about what their peers and themselves are suffering from and how to get better together.