This series features young people who are working towards a better mental health landscape in the U.S., many of whom are involved with Neolth's Student Mental Health Ambassador Program.
Stella Stephanopoulos is a consulting analyst at Accenture and host of a mental health podcast called Everyday Endorphins, which aims to redefine wellbeing by discussing what brings people endorphins, or joy, in their day-to-day lives. Prior to joining Accenture, Stella graduated from Washington University in St. Louis ‘21 where she studied Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and pursued minors in Creative Writing and Strategic Management. Stella was a speaker for Neolth's Student Ambassador Program, meeting with our students to discuss mental health, self-care, and Everyday Endorphins.
Neolth: What has your personal experience with mental health been like during young adulthood?
Stella: I struggled with episodes of anxiety throughout college and especially during my first year post-grad. Navigating a completely different environment and routine (transitioning from high school to college, and college to post-grad in particular) is challenging, especially amidst COVID. I’ve generally been able to manage my stress well but have found it to be more difficult during certain times, which is why I’ve become so passionate about becoming involved in the conversation about mental health awareness.
Neolth: Did your high school or college provide any mental health support? If so, what do you think was helpful vs unhelpful?
Stella: My college provided more mental health resources than my high school, at least to my knowledge. One resource in particular that I loved was Uncle Joe’s, which is a student-run organization that offers 24/7 access to trained peer counselors. All conversations are confidential and are led by students who are trained in over 100+ hours of mental health awareness and have a robust knowledge of resources.
Neolth: How might you change the school system to better support young people’s mental health?
Stella: I actually produced a podcast episode about this topic that provides more of my perspective on this - check it out here! But an abridged version is as follows: I believe it's crucial that we have mental health education embedded into the school curriculum, especially at an early age. Given the fast-paced and social-media saturated environment we live in, it's important that we teach our generation and future generations to learn how to properly regulate emotions and manage stress. I hope to see a continuation of normalizing conversations around mental wellness and I wish for a culture in the education system that keeps high standards on making mental health resources accessible and a necessity for all.
Neolth: Tell us about Everyday Endorphins! Why did you start the podcast, what have you learned through it, and what can people learn from it?
Stella: What began as an Instagram account in 2014 to document my experience in high school as a student-athlete, eventually developed into a broader platform focused on mental health awareness and activism. Starting the podcast was a way to merge my passions for writing, public speaking, journalism, and wellness, coupled with my undergraduate studies in philosophy and cognitive science, into one creative outlet. My goal with Everyday Endorphins is to empower my listeners to take a hold of their own wellbeing, feel excited instead of intimidated by the idea of taking care of themselves, and derive greater endorphins in their lives.
Neolth: Finally, what is your current favorite way to practice self-care?
Stella: I’ve recently gotten into dream journaling - spending a few minutes every morning to document my dreams from the night before has become very calming and meditative, and an opportunity to practice self-reflection.
At Neolth, we’re on a mission to help students stress less, build resilience and become part of our compassionate community. Our app helps students when they're feeling overwhelmed with self-guided content, personalized for their mental health journey. Neolth has a growing community of Student Ambassadors from 170 schools and works with schools to improve access to mental health support for their students. The company has won multiple awards for its app, including the 2020 Startup of the Year EdTech Award and the 2021 Tech for Good Timmy Award, San Francisco finalist. You can learn more at neolth.com