Mastermind - WE Well-being - Summer, 2019

A journey to positive well-being

Writer, musician and speaker Delicia Raveenthrarajan first hid her struggles with mental health. Now, she publicly and proudly advocates for others.

Four years ago, Delicia Raveenthrarajan could barely get out of bed. What started as inexplicable bouts of anxiety and sadness in middle school had grown progressively worse. By the age of 14, she was having panic attacks several times a day, but she told no one about them. While Delicia grappled privately, she excelled publicly. From the time she was eight years old, she had volunteered with the WE Schools program. She spoke about her passion for girls’ education in classrooms and companies across North America, and honed her skills as an accomplished musician. She sang and played the piano, violin and cello, all while getting straight As in school. But for every day that she performed brilliantly, there would be several days when she was just … not okay. “It was like two extremes and there was no middle ground,” she says.

Delicia was reluctant to share her challenges. Everyone around her seemed happy and she didn’t want to stand out. So, she threw herself into her work and tried to pretend that she was fine. At 13, Delicia had organized a WE Day-style event for her community in Scarborough, Ontario, through which she raised $10,000 to build a school in Kenya. In 2015, a year later, she took a ME to WE Trip to visit the school, to see the impact she’d made. Delicia met the students at Oleleshwa All Girls Secondary School and formed fast friendships. The girls shared stories about the challenges they’d overcome to attend school in the rural community that once lacked resources. Delicia realized none of them had done it alone. The students had found strength within themselves, but they’d also leaned on the people around them.

18 / WE Well-being

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