Tesla STEM students partnered with NAMI Eastside to plan the 2019 Youth Mental Health Conference. Courtesy photo

Tesla STEM students partnered with NAMI Eastside to plan the 2019 Youth Mental Health Conference. Courtesy photo

Tesla STEM students partner with NAMI Eastside for mental health conference

NAMI Eastside Youth Mental Health Conference will held May 4.

Mental health is becoming a growing issue among teenagers. Many organizations are working to create awareness around the importance of mental health and providing resources to those who struggle.

A group of students at Nikola Tesla STEM High School in unincorporated King County near Redmond are doing their part to help.

Philip Rickey and other students in his class are working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on its upcoming NAMI Eastside Youth Mental Health Conference on May 4.

What first began as an English project, Rickey and his other team members said has now turned into something more.

“We ourselves are very passionate about this topic, we know people who have gone through mental health issues in the past, and still contact them to this day,” Rickey said.

The conference’s purpose is to educate families, mental health providers and educators on mental illness in youth. Conference attendees will be informed on the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness in youth and made aware of available resources to help manage and treat mental illness in young people.

Rickey said his team members have worked with NAMI to make the event as effective as possible.

“We sent fliers around different schools, interviewing teens about their personal mental health experiences and contacting the principals of different schools to raise awareness of this event,” he said. “Our goal is to help and inform teens and young adults, to help them and hopefully connect with them and to let them know that they are part of a greater collective of people that know what each other is going through.”

Daksha Magesh, another student working on the project, has worked with NAMI in the past and has a passion for mental health.

“Mental health is really important, especially to kids our age and we’re glad it’s getting more recognition now but we know more needs to be done,” she said.

The students have been helping plan the event for about three weeks. Despite a lot of moving parts and getting organized, the students have enjoyed planning the event.

“It’s been so much fun,” Magesh said. “It was great to share ideas on mental health and it feels good to know that we can reach people.”

Sue Hogeboom, a volunteer with NAMI, has been working with the students.

“We are very fortunate the Tesla STEM students reached out to us to help with this conference,” she said. “We are so impressed with their interest and motivation and hope to continue a relationship with them and other Tesla STEM students.”

The NAMI Eastside Youth Mental Health Conference will host Jerri Clark, founder of Mother’s of Mentally Ill as the keynote speaker. The conference will also have workshops covering a range of topics including the early signs and symptoms of anxiety in elementary school-aged youths, how to navigate the system, a youth panel with students from Tesla STEM, suicide prevention, sexual identity, a legislative update on youth mental health and more.

The conference is free and will be held at Sammamish Presbyterian Church, 22522 NE Inglewood Hill Road.

“These students have done so much. They’re helping to spread the word and ending the negative stigma around mental health,” Hogeboom said.

For more information about NAMI or the upcoming conference, visit nami.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

By Larry Lark, contributor Residents of the PNW are no strangers to… Continue reading

2021 McLaren GT. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 McLaren GT

By Larry Lark, contributor I’m not sure words can do the 2021… Continue reading

2022 Kia Carnival SX. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Kia Carnival SX

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s the way of the world. As old… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited
Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Many people are unfamiliar with Toyota’s Venza, but… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500
Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500

By Larry Lark, contributor I can’t think of many more fun ways… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE

By Larry Lark, contributor The mid-size 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE has… Continue reading

2022 Honda Civic Touring
Car review: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

By Larry Lark, contributor You’ve all heard and read the idiom attributed… Continue reading

2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited
Car review: 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Hyundai’s “horse” in the compact sports utility market… Continue reading

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

By Larry Lark, contributor It always starts around this time of year.… Continue reading

2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory

By Larry Lark, contributor If you’re looking for a full-size, affordable, luxury… Continue reading

The Better Half hazy pale is a collaboration of Crucible Brewing - Woodinville Forge, Imperial Yeast and Skagit Valley Malting. Photo courtesy of Eastside Beer Week’s Facebook page
Eastside Beer Week returns July 23

Eastside Beer Week returns for a second year beginning this month, and… Continue reading