YOUth In Power - Macy Lee

Image:    Macy Lee

Image: Macy Lee

The youth holds the future. What we do now will affect what happens later on. We hold more power than we think - and this is the power of change and influence. It’s vital that people know how to use this for the greater good.
— Macy Lee

Meet Macy Lee, a 17-year-old mental health activist, speaker, and writer from the Philippines who advocates for better mental health resources for schools and their students through her organization, Talang Dalisay.

I'm Macy and I'm 17 years old. I'm a speaker, writer, and mental health activist from the Philippines. I speak in conferences and schools in and out of the country, I've been writing in and out of my high school publication since I was a kid, and I founded a mental health non-profit. I just graduated high school last May, and now I'm an incoming freshman at UC Davis. Aside from my work, I also really love tennis (I was in varsity in high school), indoor cycling, food, traveling, spending time with friends and family, reading books, discovering underrated songs (especially indie chill vibes ones), and good memes! Another unique thing about me are my love for cows; they're my faaavorite animal.


My main advocacy is mental health, but I stand for different advocacies too. I think climate change needs awareness. I believe that women should be empowered. I think that human rights is a noble thing to fight for. I support all of these things! I am passionate about making the world a better place and empowering people to do something about it. I first got started into my love for activism at a young age. My mom encouraged me to be a servant leader, someone who brings out the very best in people and is humble yet confident in her own shoes.

There many issues that young people face from the illnesses themself, the associated stigma, and the lack of access to resources to assist them.

Image:    Macy Lee

Image: Macy Lee

There are a wide scale of mental health issues from depression to anxiety. However, aside from clinical diagnoses I believe that mental health stigmas or issues are seen in the everyday. Being diagnosed with a mental health problem is important and needs help. But people going through a tough day or having a serious self perception problem need help the same amount of help and awareness as well. No matter where you are in the spectrum, I believe that you need all the help, love, and support you need. That's what my organization Talang Dalisay does. Talang Dalisay is literally translated into Pure Star in English. We embrace the ability in disability, empowering young people to stay mentally resilient no matter what kind of situation life throws at them. We do a plethora of projects - from online campaigns to outreaches to fundraisers and programs - to address the majority of these issues little by little.

Macy believes that the first step we need to take to normalize conversations regarding mental health and wellness is to be aware and validated with your own thoughts and emotions. Stripping the shame from mental health must begin with ourselves, in our homes, and communities.

The first step to normalizing these kinds of conversations is to have self awareness and validation with your own emotions. I don't believe in the "good vibes" only mentality that media puts out. I don't think you constantly have to be positive 24/7. The beauty of life and learning is also seen during adversity. I think by simply acknowledging how you feel and slowly expressing that to a family member or friend will help you "normalize" your own mental health journey. Start within yourself, voice it out with others slowly, and encourage this cycle with people you know. Hopefully an impact will be created within yourself and others.

Learn about how you can get involved with Macy’s work with Talang Dalisay!

Talang Dalisay is based in the Philippines, but you can get involved with our mental health advocacy through our international branch called My State of Mind. It's a global cause run for and by the youth and you can create art and write articles for us no matter where you are in the world! For more information you may follow @themhinitiative on Instagram or email mystateofmind.worldwide@gmail.com.

By overcoming her own insecurities and not paying any credence to other people’s doubts about her capabilities.

I have been defiant in my own life by trying to overcome my own insecurities and other people's opinions of me. I knew from a young age I had a purpose greater than myself - and living this purpose isn't easy simply because it isn't conventional. Nevertheless, I chose to defy these "norms" that put me in this certain box and focused on my journey and not other people's. I followed my own philosophies in life and lived day by day, taking things slowly in this fast paced world. In the future, I hope to continue to defy these boundaries and create an environment that encourages freedom of good change and influence.