Yes, I binge-watched TV last week, always expecting that the next episode of a Netflix series titled '13 Reasons Why' would move beyond a script of 'life happens, then you die'. 13 episodes later, it had offered no teaching moment, no hint that we can exercise some coping and problem-solving skills to manage even terrible challenges.
I am so glad that real life teens are exercising and teaching other teens the thinking skills that were ignored by the Netflix script: self-awareness, communication, help-seeking, connectedness, and problem solving. In fact, April was a terrific month because students were so thoughtful. The students are incredibly busy at this time of the year and I am grateful for what they did to help AWI. Here are some of their achievements this month that reduce suicidal ideation:
- entering data from 991 pre-surveys of children in India. We will then measure changes in Knowledge, Help-seeking and Attitude that occur from the Peer Leadership and Depression Prevention project.
- coaching teen mentors in Dorchester, MA with information on depression awareness and prevention. The Dorchester teens will be addressing these themes in their 'Community Cafe' event.
- introducing healthy coping exercises to youth ages 9-12 through the Wellesley library computer lab
- surpassing the goal to raise $22,000 to benefit AWI. College student Natasha Snapper achieved this and then went on to complete her first marathon in 4 hours 28 minutes!
- preparing to co-facilitate a Rotary Interact workshop that will teach other teens from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The online registration is closed but teens can still sign-up by email.
The article below features someone working even earlier than the school age years to prevent suicide and depression. Her name is Margaret Hannah.
Margaret has been appointed by Governor Baker to the
Special Legislative Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention.
The Commission - the first of its kind in Massachusetts - is tasked with investigating evidence-based practices, programs and systems to prevent behavioral health disorders and promote behavioral health across the commonwealth.
Also, there are two fun events happening soon that benefit mental health and wellness promotion - I hope you can participate in one or both:
- On Thursday, May 4, Rotary is celebrating a Taste
of Wellesley at Elm Bank with Interact and Key Club teens helping - buy a ticket and enjoy.
- A remarkable art competition by teen artists is exhibited at Page Waterman Gallery beginning May 12; a free reception is Mother's Day May 14. Auction proceeds are split between the teens and AWI.