Ross Szabo speaks to upper school students about mental health

Michael Sikand


Darren Gu

Human Power Project CEO Ross Szabo gave a presentation on mental health. The presentation took place today morning in the gym.

by Michael Sikand, Reporter

Human Power Project CEO Ross Szabo spoke to upper school students at an assembly today about the management of mental health as an adolescent.

Szabo spoke about issues teenagers face regarding their psychological state. He described his own challenges with mental illness during his adolescence while providing students with methods to cope with their own state of mind.

“Twenty percent of high school students and 25 percent of college students experience a diagnosable mental health disorder,” Szabo said.

After informing students about how to manage the stressors of high school, Szabo advised the audience on how to deal with daily pressures.

“Think of your coping in two ways,” Szabo said “Is it effective or is it ineffective, effective coping builds you, it builds your mental health, your physical health, relationships and yourself.”

Activities such as exercising, socializing and playing video games were on Szabo’s list of ways to cope with the rush of life.

He elaborated on his experiences with self-harm and instability growing up, struggles many students can relate to. Growing up in the small, traditional town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Szabo was ashamed of his mental instability.

Szabo explained that his actions towards others were not reflective of his internal feelings, and how in many cases, psychological sickness can go undetected.

“I didn’t say anything because I thought it was a sign of weakness,” he said.

Szabo then asked the audience for the reasons why people suffering from mental problems do not seek help. Often times, people have trouble opening up and have a false confidence in their personal ability to control their health.

“If you really want to change this issue, you have to find out why people don’t want to talk about it, and you have to work on that with them,” he said.

Rahul Bhethanabotla, a sophomore who attended the presentation, commented on his experience.

“I definitely learned more about the broad stand of mental health, and now I have learned that [psychological problems] can come from a lack of [sleep] and stressors at school,” he said.

Another attendee, sophomore Alisa Su, shared her thoughts.

“It was pretty inspirational, it changed my views of mental illness and mental health,” Alisa said.

Despite the gravity of the topic, Szabo still managed to fill the gym with laughter and smiles. He described his presentation as “the most fun presentation about depression ever.”

Students laugh at some humor in Szabo's presentation about mental health. The presentation took place today at the gym.
Darren Gu
Students laugh at some humor in Szabo’s presentation about mental health. The presentation took place today at the gym.

After his talk, Szabo invited students for a Q&A session in the gym for anyone looking for more information.