Rowan Blanchard was 14 years old when she made headlines for a social media post in which she shared that she struggles with depression. The activist and actor, then starring on Girl Meets World, posted a personal essay reflecting on her year on New Year’s Eve 2015, in which she wrote how she’d come to terms with all the uncertainty that comes with being a teenager. “As I found myself, this year in particular, going through ups and downs with depression,” she wrote, “I realized that instead of rejecting and ostracizing these teenage feelings (human feelings), I can learn to love the intensity of them and know that everything is momentary.”
Because she grew up with the internet, Blanchard told TIME, sharing her thoughts online has always felt natural — but what she didn’t realize at the time was the extent to which adults would pay attention, and how powerful her words could be for other teens. At a recent mental health roundtable event hosted by TIME, Dear Evan Hansen and philosophy, Blanchard participated in a discussion about teen depression and anxiety in the age of social media with John MacPhee, executive director of the Jed Foundation, and Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, president of National Crittenton Foundation.