College freshman Ally Beard was not the youngest speaker
at the annual AWI event on May 2nd. She was, however, the youngest to launch her own non-profit organization to improve prevention of anxiety! I will explain more about that in the Featured Guest section below. I mention it here because I see so much progress in overcoming stigma. I remember in 2005 my town of Wellesley was in the midst of a suicide contagion; the teens said '...the adults won't talk about this'. AWI was launched to
promote tools for teens and schools to help prevent depression and suicide. Our goal is shifting now to encourage wider adoption of healthy coping and problem solving skills across all ages and all geography (ex. video illustrates a school group in India that uses a resource from Boston Children's Hospital:
Teens talk depression in India
Locally, AWI has invited t
he hospital to pilot its newest resource, 'Break Free From Stress and Anxiety' with teen leaders this September.
AWI is also sponsoring the introduction of an exercise in cognitive flexibility to schools in Connecticut in collaboration with the Creative Education Foundation. Basically, it provides the youngest students a practical model for creative problem solving.