The Apricity Project: Destigmatizing Mental Health in CBSD


A post from The Apricity Project Instagram. Follow them @the.apricity.project!

As the mental health crisis around the world has infiltrated high school students particularly, a group of CB South students have created the Apricity Project to shed light upon the predicament. After speaking with one of the founders, Ben Busick, I felt it necessary that more people learn about their work.

The project originated in a separate club, HOSA, where Melinda, Diya, Jasmine, Katherine, and Ben were tasked with creating a social media presentation about mental health issues in the local school community for a new event, “Mental Health Promotion.”

After meeting with Mr. Bucher and hearing his perspectives on mental health at CB South, Ben explained that they decided to “…break the stigma around mental health issues because we found that so many students feel alone in their struggles and crises, so we chose to ask the people of the community themselves to share about their experiences and lives, and in turn, we promised anonymity”.

And if you visit their Instagram page, you will find just that. Quotes from CB South students, teachers, and alumni, sharing their experiences can be found, with no name attachment or photo, maintaining their interviewee’s anonymity and showing others they are not alone.

Busick also spoke on how vital it was that this project was a collaborative effort, not only for the HOSA event but to make the project the best and most effective it could be. By using another Instagram account for inspiration for the visual aesthetic of the page, the group created the foundations for the published posts and then got to interviewing.


The Apricity Project instagram! Follow them @the.apricity.project


Busick explained that “…the very core of our project is about community, so it wouldn’t have even made sense to not collaborate on the project”. The project also illustrates past experiences of CB South alumni, which entails perspectives that either oppose or mirror current student views.

Busick also emphasized how enjoyable it was to hear of where the alumni are after leaving CB South, as “… their perspectives have been formed and changed by the years they’ve had since being in CBSD”.

As the project expands and grows, it also becomes a greater aspect of CB South culture. It seems as though the anonymous interviews of the Apricity Project ironically broke down the anonymity surrounding Central Bucks’ culture.

The honesty and transparency in each of the interviews forced people to realize that the people around them are also like them, struggling in silence and/or fighting their own battles. Busick described how each of the creators values the input of their interviewees and, just like the rest of CB South, may need to be reminded that they are not alone.

They also highlighted that the creators had not been aware of how popular the project had become, saying how very surprised they were that the Tribune would want to talk about the project with them and their co-creators. With almost six hundred interactions with the Linktree that holds the full interviews, they think the project is making a difference in the community.

While the project stays as a part of HOSA, the creators originally thought of concluding it after the HOSA season ended, but seeing how influential the interviews have been on South students and themselves, they may just continue… it may just be an actual club one day! As all five of the founders are graduating seniors, Busick seemed open to the idea of underclassmen taking over and continuing the project to keep spreading the important message.

Finally, Busick spoke on the importance of mental health and the current mental health crisis. With experience speaking on the crisis among adolescents for years with USA Today, Stanford University, and more, Busick says that there are many people blaming the crisis on the pandemic when there is truly no one party to blame and that mental health, in fact, became more normalized during the lockdown.

Busick also stated that they “…really think that we have to talk about our lives, experiences, and perspectives in order to start to heal our mental health as a society”. With the growing mental health crisis, the Apricity Project has made waves in destigmatizing mental health at CB South, so visit their Instagram page at @the.apricity.project!

While the word apricity means the feeling of sunlight in winter, this project is reminding CB South students that there is always light in the dark, despite how cold and dark your mental health may be.