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Adolescent Wellness, Inc. (AWI) 
Dr DeMaso visits teen mentors in Community Q&A kiosk
Dr. DeMaso, Boston Children's Hospital psychiatrist-in-chief, with teen mentors Nathan Chiu, Matthew Tom, Fadeth Gomez and Teddy Sevilla
AWI Newsletter
March, 2015 

In This Issue

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There is much to celebrate this year! Parents,  educators and teens are exercising resources to help younger kids build grit, or resilience, to prevent many cases of anxiety and depression. The same resources help older kids recognize symptoms already existing.  


During our January Winter Blues event, the resources were discussed in three Q & A kiosks (titled Home, Community and School) which were staffed by those who also presented at the podium. Dr. David DeMaso, the psychiatrist-in-chief at Boston Children's Hospital discussed the hospital's resource for schools, Break Free From Depression (BFFD). Over 12,000 students at 50 schools have completed its three hours of content. 


BFFD is one of the resources used in our international Peer Leadership and Depression Prevention project. The pilot was funded by Adolescent Wellness, Inc. (AWI) in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Wellesley. It is available for replication in every community affiliated with a Rotary Interact club..


The project teaches high school age teen leaders information about depression and suicide in teens, how to co-facilitate a depression prevention curriculum, and activities that foster active coping skills and help-seeking. The benefit of this are two-fold, the teens learn these skills for themselves, and also learn how to teach these skills to younger students. When the activities of the teen leaders are integrated into the school and community setting, it: 

  • fosters increased awareness
  • decreases stigma
  • creates a network of teen and adult 'gatekeepers' that will be able to promote early identification


Elizabeth Heffernan, Noah Stein, Harman Bharj and Teddy Sevilla teach  Break Free From Depression  to middle school-age youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Waltham.


The Interact teens co-facilitate the curriculum with schools and youth groups. They also coach other teen leaders via teleconference. For example, they answered questions by teen leaders from the Robinson school in Puerto Rico; the San Juan teens then helped teach the BFFD curriculum in their school. 

Two broad groups directly benefit: youth and adults. Youth are introduced by age 14 to psychoeducation about depression and suicide as well as to activities for active coping skills.  Adult beneficiaries include the:
  • administrators and teachers in each school 
  • parents invited to participate in parent meetings
  • community liaisons, including mental health providers, invited to participate as community supports
Next month, April 8, these Interact teens present during the primary educator's conference on teen mental health. Their presentation describes what they did and how it can be replicated by every community.
S ee page 6 within the conference agenda  linked here.

Before saying goodbye, may I ask two favors of you? Amazon contributes a percentage to non-profits selected in its SMILE program; please go to Amazon, search on SMILE and select Adolescent Wellness. Also, if you use Facebook, please "like" the page linked here,  Let me know if you have additional ideas to get the word out - thank you!

-Bob Anthony,  President

Did you know...


... The Museum of Science is presenting on resilience April 1?  
Depression, Suicide, and Resilience
Wednesday, April 1, 7pm - 9pm


According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability throughout the world and its prevalence is growing. With appropriate treatment, however, an estimated 80% of patients will experience relief. Step through this exhibit into the world of depression and to the forefront of techniques that may reduce its pervasiveness, the incidence of suicide, and increase well-being.

State Senators Recognize Teens
Senator Richard Ross and Interact Advisor Bob Anthony present certificates to some of the peer leaders from the Rotary Interact club, including  Elizabeth Heffernan, Nicole Frontero, Noah Stein, Teddy Sevilla and Matthew Keep. 

The certificates, signed by State Senators Richard Ross and Cynthia Stone  Creem, read, "In recognition of your success co-facilitating the Break Free From Depression curriculum with middle school age youth at the Boys and Girls club of Waltham as part of your Interact club's Wellness Project". 
Teen Angst vs Depression webinar, April 28, 6pm Eastern 
Dr. Nadja Reilly, author of Anxiety and Depression in the Classroom: A Teacher's Guide to Fostering Self-Regulation in Young Students.

Hosted by Families for Depression Awareness

 - How to distinguish between depression and teen angst


  - How to talk to teens about depression


 - How to get help for a struggling teen


What to do when a teen refuses help 


 Click here to register

Harvard MRI Study
Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Research
 Harvard University

Are you a female between 15 and 19 years old and currently suffering with depression?


Do you have a daughter between 15 and 19 years old currently suffering with depression?

  • If so, you/your child may be eligible for a confidential research study
  • Eligible participants will be paid up to $85 for this study
  • Participation involves two lab visits to answer questions and play computer games while in a MRI machine that takes pictures of your brain, and a brief telephone interview 6 months later
To learn more, please contact Dr. Cassie Glenn at
(617) 496-8563 ext.5 or and refer 'to the MRI study'.
AWI volunteers


The people who make it happen; we are very grateful to the c urrent AWI volunteers listed below:
  • Bob Anthony - President
  • Anthony Schweizer - Board Chairman
  • Chip Douglas - Director
  • Calvin Place - Director, Winter Blues co-chair
  • Lisa Siegel - Director
  • Roberta Boylen - Winter Blues co-chair
  • Teddy Sevilla - Youth Advisory
  • Cindy Hurley - Wellesley HS counselor
  • Teddy Sevilla - Youth Advisory
  • Noah Stein - Youth Advisory
  • Matthew Tom - Youth Advisory 
  • Frank Hays - Marketing
Adolescent Wellness, Inc. | 103 Old Colony Road | Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481 |
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