Say hello to Jillian Schiller, the 2019-2020 Peace River Center Junior Advisory Board (JAB) Chair. Now a senior at Santa Fe Catholic High School, Jillian has been involved with the JAB since her freshman year. She has helped with fundraisers such as the Feel Good 5K, collected socks, blankets and many other items for Peace River Center clients, and most recently helped launch an Instagram account to help recruit new members and educate her peers about mental health, mental illness, and victim services. Get to know Jillian better:
What aspect of the board has had the most impact on you?
The discussions we have as a group on how to approach someone who is suicidal has had the most impact on me because I think it is a really important topic most people find very uncomfortable to talk about. Being a member of the Junior Advisory Board I have learned a lot about various careers that involve mental health and mental illness.
Why do mental health/mental illness and victim services interest you?
Mental health and mental illness are very interesting to me because I care a lot about helping individuals in any way I can. These topics are also very interesting to me because I want to be a counselor when I finish school.
What do you wish more students knew about mental health/mental illness and victim services?
I wish more students knew more about the different types of mental illness and what the symptoms really are. I feel like mental illnesses are joked about when they shouldn’t be because they are very serious. I also wish more students knew how to approach someone who is suicidal because if people learn how to do this, they could end up saving a life.
What are your goals for the 2019-2020 board?
I want to raise more awareness about mental health within our community by helping out with various service projects and encouraging more students to join the Junior Advisory Board.
Why is Junior Advisory Board important to you?
It’s important to me because raising awareness for mental health is something I am very passionate about. I have made amazing friends through the board and I have also expanded my knowledge on mental health and mental illnesses.
Favorite Junior Advisory Board memory?
My favorite Junior Advisory Board memory is helping at the Feel Good 5K. It was a lot of fun and I love how it brought the Lakeland community together for a good cause.
What other extracurricular activities do you do?
I love running with my friends and hanging out with the people who bring me happiness. 😀 I have also started an Active Minds club on campus to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health, bring awareness to resources, and start meaningful conversations, especially about suicide awareness and prevention.
What are your plans after high school?
After high school, I hope to become a counselor for young girls and teens who are having difficulties in their life.
What are your summer plans?
During the summer I plan on spending time with my friends and family and going on vacation!
What do you like to do for fun?
During my free time, I love hanging out with my friends and trying new things.
We are grateful to have Jillian leading the Junior Advisory Board this year. If you know of a high school student who is interested in learning more about mental health, mental illness, and victim services while earning community service hours and giving back encourage him or her to join.