Students join depression awareness campaign

Photo by Joyce Ervin Milan High School students and Peer to Peer members, Caleb Marcum and A.J. Schorr, are photographed with T-shirts available previously for extracurricular training on depression, helping friends and staying safe on the internet.

Photo by Joyce Ervin
Milan High School students and Peer to Peer members, Caleb Marcum and A.J. Schorr, are photographed with T-shirts available previously for extracurricular training on depression, helping friends and staying safe on the internet.

By Joyce Ervin
 
University of Michigan Depression Awareness Campaign kicked off in October county wide to help with training in suicide prevention and the dangers of depression. Stephanie Salazar, outreach and education program manager, said she was excited about the training the students at Milan High School would be receiving as part of their Peer to Peer student program.
 Milan students have been training each year and reaching out to their classmates.  They report, as well, as other districts, positive results through their training and interacting with students.  The survey results, Salazar said, found with this increased awareness students were more likely to ask for help if they had symptoms of depression that lasted for more than two weeks, willingness to seek help from different sources, reported lower stigma, increased knowledge to depression and were more comfortable discussing mental health issues.
 Milan’s P2P went all out to ensure their fellow classmates were informed.  As part of their campaign they hosted panel presentations for the students, featured Dawn Farm residents who shared their experiences with re-occurring depression and substance abuse.  Under their theme of, “Know Science, No Stigma, they created bracelets with the slogan, made and displayed posters in the building and participated in Safe Talk, a three-hour suicide-alertness training. 
Distributing bookmarks with the phrase, “No One Should be Left in the Dark”, they passed out flashlight/compass keychains, made a flip-a-gram video with facts and held two all-school assemblies including putting on skits and sketches with a question and answer follow-up.
Salazar said she was very excited about this year’s training and was anxious to see what the students come up with next.
 Student support, Mark Rodan, has been with the group as advisor since its inception.  He is pleased with the results of the students’ efforts and applauds their dedication and enthusiasm to help others with this serious illness.
 Milan High School students interested in such trainings should contact Rodan in the guidance office at 439-5037.
 
Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Milan.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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