Helping prevent depression: Nigeria

Call to Action
I am thankful AWI began ten years ago helping communities implement depression awareness and prevention programs. I wish it were happening faster but it is happening. 

One observation is that, given the opportunity, I see schools outside the USA  implementing faster. They seem to place a higher priority on prevention and earlier identification, perhaps because they have fewer options for treating depression and suicidal ideation. 

This summer a train-the-trainer workshop AWI delivered was attended by a friend visiting the US from Nigeria. He flew home with a dozen copies of the curriculum and now several schools there are already implementing. When I asked why it was adopted so quickly, he mentioned the limited treatment resources so I looked up the number of psychiatrists per one million population in our two countries: 126 in the US and 1 in Nigeria.

Two other topics: 
1) This year I started recognizing other organizations in the AWI newsletter.  It is now a regular section below labeled FEATURED GUEST.  This month's guest describes offers three one-minute exercises suitable for all ages to enhance mindfulness I hope you find it useful.
2) Clicking this link for a Nov. 8 conference which provides practical resilience building activities for all grades. The conference is hosted by the Boston University School of Medicine. The healthy coping skills it teaches help prevent youth from developing unhealthy coping habits, such as cutting and substance abuse. Karen Lynch, a faculty member from the Creative Problem Solving Institute, and I will be presenting the conference track for grade 4-8 educators.  I hope to see you there!

Enjoy Thanksgiving!

-Bob Anthony
your age 13-18 healthy daughter can help in a study on depression?   

Researchers at McLean Hospital are investigating differences in the ways that healthy and depressed adolescents think, feel, and behave.  Your child's responses can help them better understand and treat depression in adolescents.

For more information, please contact Paris in the Child & Adolescent Mood Disorders Lab: call 617-855-4240 or email

Suggestion for immediate action by Delvina Miremadi-Baldino, PhD: Mindfulness

Research has shown that mindfulness is helpful in reducing stress and has been an important component in various psychological therapies. Being mindful, simply put, is being aware and present in the moment. It's forgetting about the past and the future and making a conscious effort to pay attention in a non-judgmental way. This fosters curiosity, openness, acceptance and love. It helps you to recognize old patterns that no longer serve you well, and rewire your brain to create more positive pathways.
Mindfulness has proven to be effective for children and young people, having positive outcomes on well being: self-awareness, deferring response to difficult emotions, and understanding of others. 

Here are three simple activities to enhance mindfulness (thanks to the Flourish Center, Certification in Applied Positive Psychology Program, 2015).
1) Aware of the Senses
Recognize that you are not wholly present. Devote one minute to become more aware of what you are experiencing through each of your five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and seeing.
2) Vacuum Breathing
This exercise provides relief for stress held in the body or mind 'chatter'. Imagine that the inhale sucks up the tension or thought and the exhale releases it out of the body.
3) Water bottle 'snow globe'
Place water into a clear water bottle and add sand or glitter. Give it a shake and focus on the individual particles as they fall to the bottom. 

Delvina  Miremadi-Baldino, Ph.D. is the founder of Realize Your Resilience
(RYR), a company dedicated to helping individuals, groups, and organizations build upon their strengths and foster resilience. RYR specializes in helping students foster their unique capacity for resilience and discover their individual  pathways to success. Dr. Miremadi-Baldino has dedicated her career to being a change agent through education, research, and developing innovative tools to help increase resilience and improve the lives of adolescents and adults. She is the creator of the Realize Your Resilience Toolkit - a toolkit for college and university administrators - and the Resilience Success Assessment (RSA) for individuals to measure resilience and achievement. If you are interested in learning more about RYR resources and services, please visit  or email
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