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Teen Advisory Council members 2023/2024

The inaugural Gen Z Wellness Summit was a huge success! With the theme of “We are All in This Together”, over 600 people gathered in the Centennial Ballroom of the Luskin Conference Center at UCLA on Sunday, February 25th to hear inspiring and engaging conversations about issues important to Gen Z’s: social media, addiction, LGBTQ, climate change, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, and relationships. The event was curated and presented by the Teen Advisory Council of the Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. 

Renowned actress, Lili Reinhart opened up about her lifelong struggle with her mental health in an intimate conversation with Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology, Dr. Helena Hansen, the interim director of the Semel Institute, and Metta Sandiford-Artest, LA Laker legend, inspired everyone with his message of staying true to oneself and the importance of taking care of one’s mental health. Climate activist, Molly Kawahata, an accomplished ice climber who lives with bipolar disorder, delivered a message of hope and the audience was treated to stellar and evocative performances by Gen Z artists and poets – Sky Dxddy, Clinton Kane, Tyris Winter, the Get Lit poets, and UCLA’s YouthPhonics, all with a mental health message. Jesse Israel, founder of "The Big Quiet" opened the program with a thoughtful meditation that emphasized the theme of connection, and award-winning comedian and author, Jena Friedman hosted the event, bringing humor to the program.

UCLA Semel Institute faculty skillfully moderated the panel discussions featuring social media influencers, a non-profit founder, an author and podcast hosts, Teen Advisory Council students, and Gen Z mental health advocates. Corporate sponsors included Rare Beauty, Madhappy, Rile, Postmates, Unlikely Collaborators and UCLA Health along with many generous individual contributors.

A huge thank you to our collaborators:  Talk with Zach, UCLA Center for Scholars and Storytellers, UCLA Focus, UCLA Health and Semel Institute faculty, The Big Quiet, Happy Jack Entertainment, Just Keep Livin', all the amazing participants, and everyone who woke up early on a Sunday to attend the event!


To watch videos and see photos from the inaugural Gen Z Wellness Summit, click here

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