Liu Qianshuo (first from left) and Wang Sitong (far right) discuss their proposal with their teachers. provided to teens
“We hadn’t seen each other for months because we were stuck at home due to COVID-19. One day, I heard that she was suffering from depression. At the time, I was surprised and curious about how such an outgoing person could become depressed,” Liu Qianshuo said. Liu, 17, is a Senior 3 student from Lishu No 1 Senior Middle School, Jilin province.
For the past year, he has helped one of his closest friends fight against depression by comforting her on WeChat and talking to her face-to-face. During the process, Liu found that the problem of depression wasn’t well recognized. Therefore, Liu and his classmate Wang Sitong decided to call for more efforts in understanding depression and more help for those it affects.
They participated in the 2021 Model Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) by submitting their proposal about preventative measures and concerns for depression. The Model CPPCC is organized by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China along with the All-China Students’ Federation. It invites high school students, college students and young professionals to “gain a deeper understanding of and participate in the country’s political activities”.
The 2021 event attracted more than 111,000 participants and 1,447 entries across the country. The two teenagers’ proposal was on the list of the 100 best entries unveiled in February.
This was actually the second time they had taken part in the activity. Their first proposal had focused on study tours for teenagers. Though having experience, they still found the new proposal difficult to make. The team spent their summer holidays studying academic papers and reports on mental health.
Meanwhile, they carried out surveys. “This was the most time-consuming work,” Liu said. They walked the streets asking people their views on depression. They also conducted case studies through in-depth interviews with depressed people. “This made our proposal more convincing,” Liu said.
“I think the Model CPPCC is a good opportunity to give our views on social issues and a voice to people in need, especially on the topic of teenage life,” Liu said. “By participating in the activity, we truly feel our voices can be heard by our country.”