June 01, 2021
Saoud, tell us a little bit about yourself …
My name is Saoud Moon and I am a high school student at Portola High School. I am 17 years old and was born in Torrance, CA. At about 6 months old, my family moved to Karachi, Pakistan as my parents had grown up there. After 9 years of living in Pakistan, my family decided to immigrate back to the United States. This move was definitely tough on me and led to me getting professional mental health help; eventually, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression. After numerous years of getting help, things have really been looking up for me and I have learned how to cope with my mental illnesses. Even though the battle with my mental illnesses is far from done, I am extremely proud of how far I have come. Aside from mental health, my hobbies include managing my business, watching basketball, playing video games, trading stocks, and more. For my business, I own a business that sells apparel clothing, toys, and collectibles on the platforms Amazon and eBay. That is honestly all about me!
Share a little bit about your outlook on life
My outlook on life is that I want to make sure that on my deathbed, I have made a significantly positive impact on the world. I don't care about money or wealth when I am dead, as that is not what matters when I am on my deathbed. All of us get buried into the ground, despite our wealth. With that logic, I feel the only thing that matters is how we impact people when we are on this planet. For me specifically, I want to help with issues around mental health. I hate that kids, especially little boys, feel afraid to open up about their issues because of the fact that they do not want to seem "weak." I hope to do a lot of work in the mental health field that fights towards reducing that problem.
What’s your favorite book?
I'm honestly not much of a reader but I am definitely trying to get into it this summer. Though, I would say that my favorite book of all time would have to be Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
What’s your favorite self-care activity?
My favorite self-care activity is to play basketball and take a nice bath after to cool down. Just the feeling of my soreness being relieved in the bath is extremely calming and feels great.
What drew you to community mental health work?
I have always been interested in community mental health work because of my own struggles with mental illnesses. However, I was drawn into it when I applied to Crossroads Initiative. Crossroads Initiative is an organization that I currently work at that focuses on fighting against the stigma around mental health through literary works. My time at Crossroads has taught me many things and inspired me to work more in the mental health field!
How’d you get started in marketing? What draws you to it?
I really enjoy marketing because I am interested in both psychology and business. In my eyes, marketing is a combination of both of these. I got started in Marketing when I competed in my school's business clubs state marketing competition and placed as a finalist.
Tell us a bit about the work of Crossroads Initiative and how you got involved …
As I said earlier, Crossroads Initiative is an organization that focuses on fighting against the stigma around mental health through literary work. So far, we have released 4 editions that have covered various topics around mental health. At the same time, Crossroads Initiative produces films, leads teams that focuses on advocacy, hosts seminars, and more. I got involved with Crossroads Initiative through a mutual friend, Shailee Sankhala. Shailee is the president and founder of Crossroads Initiative. I knew of her through my friend and I thought it would be a good idea to apply and work with her. In hindsight, this is one of the best choices I have ever made.
Why attend community mental health events, like those hosted by Connect-OC?
One of the most important actions when creating change is to start a conversation. If there are mental health events, like those hosted by Connect-OC, go to them. I really mean it. It can introduce you to new topics and perspectives that maybe you did not know too much about. Events such as these can be extremely informal, possibly even life-changing.
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