Students Address Mental Illness, Homelessness and More at Mason TEDx Event

Posted: November 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

Students Jenna Zink (left), Britnae Purdy (center), and Yara Mowafy (right) are the featured speakers of the fall TEDxGeorgMasonU Salon at the Fairfax Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn

“I also have a mental illness.”

Those six powerful words were spoken Wednesday by graduate student Britnae Purdy during the TEDx Salon held at the Hub.

Purdy and two other George Mason University students each spoke on a different topic to an audience of about 20 during the event, which is a smaller, independently organized version of the larger TED conference held yearly in California.

TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The TED conferences are platforms for people to speak about compelling subjects, says Joe Renaud, a PhD student at George Mason and the curator of the university’s TEDx events.

In addition to talking about mental illness among young adults, Purdy spoke candidly about her own experience battling persistent depressive disorder, which is also known as dysthymia. The condition is less severe than major depressive disorder, but still has crippling effects on those who have it.

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