Beatriz Gonzales is a 24-year old mental health advocate. She is best known for her speech titled “The Not Valedictory Address” where she debunked the common notions of what a Valedictorian should be and tackled issues concerning Mental Health. She is continuously doing her part in spreading awareness and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health by giving talks and working with institutions and individuals who share her passion for this cause. Beatriz is also an artist, started drawing when she was 3 and never stopped ever since.
[Below is a snapshot from the interview that is edited for clarity.]
You are not alone. There will always be someone willing to listen. You just need to work hard enough and to be open enough. If you are going through your mental health issues, it is not the end of the world. It is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, it is the bravest thing that you can ever do is to ask for help—[you should] not be ashamed for who you are because you have a mental health problem.
If you know someone who is going through their issues, talk to them, reach out to them, or smile at them. This little thing of a simple act of kindness is going a long way more than what you think. You don’t have to do something big to make an impact on somebody else’s life. At the end of the day, nobody is going to remember your grave, what kind of car you have, or whatever Louis Vuitton heels you have in five or ten years down the road. What nobody would ever forget is kindness and how you treat the people around you.
Click link below to watch Beatriz’s The Not Valedictory Address.