Elevating awareness of the teenage dilemma

Having personally struggled with mental health and body positivity, junior Kelsey Wu created an organization aimed toward raising awareness for the eating disorder epidemic and prevalence of body dissatisfaction among today’s youth. 

ForYou is an international organization that is dedicated to anyone who has felt shame and contempt for themselves and their bodies. The group encourages body confidence through body positivity workshops, social media posts, youth conferences, and more. 

“The mission of For You is to empower youth of all genders, races, and sexualities to develop loving, positive, and courageous mindsets about themselves and their bodies,” Wu said via Instagram. 

Wu said she struggled with body image issues for eight years before starting her recovery process during quarantine. While in recovery, she recognized the prevalence of issues such as negative body image and eating disorders in her environment.

“There was no organization, community or institution in my environment that was voicing this huge public health crisis in my environment, so I knew I had to create the first one,” Wu said.

Promoting diversity and inclusivity in the ForYou organization is an important goal for Wu. She says that because mental health doesn’t discriminate, more centralized and inclusive health procedures and approaches should be established. 

Also working to end the blatant discrimination and major disparities minority populations have in regards to mental health awareness and treatment,” Wu said. “We raise awareness about how [people of color], the LGBTQ+ community and even boys and men are stigmatized to not receive treatment or help with mental illnesses due to society’s constraints.”

On July 24, Wu was invited to write a guest editorial in the Chino Valley Newspaper because of her contributions as a 16-year-old eating disorder and mental health activist. 

“I wrote [the piece] because I was honored [to have] a chance [to share] my story on a community newspaper with a large readership,” she said. “I wanted to share my story and let people know of the work I had done.”

In addition to maintaining social media content and expanding the organization’s reach, Wu also strives to organize events in middle school and high school wellness centers. Likewise, she hopes to include eating disorder prevention in Walnut Valley Unified School District’s curriculum. She plans to get the district to include lecture pieces and hands-on activities to help teach students about self love and demonstrate how to cope with body image in the era of social media.

We are currently working with the WVUSD district in trying to pass a body confidence and eating disorder prevention curriculum that will be mandated in all middle school PE classes and high school PE or health classes,” she said.