2019-20 P2P High School

High School

Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Campaign: 2019-20 School Year
A collaboration between the U-M Depression Center and Washtenaw County High Schools


Project Overview

In 2007, the University of Michigan Depression Center and Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) began a collaboration to provide depression awareness and suicide prevention education, training, and support for AAPS personnel. Beginning in fall 2009, a student education component was added to the mental health initiative called the Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Campaign (P2P). 

The goals of the Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Campaign are to:

1) educate high school students about depression, anxiety, and related illnesses and

 2) support them in finding creative ways to convey this knowledge to their peers in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, encourage help-seeking when needed, and ultimately, help to promote the early detection of depression, bipolar disorder, and related illnesses.

Interest in the program continues to grow as P2P enters its second decade, with the number of participating schools increasing from five Ann Arbor high schools in 2009, to 16 high schools and 11 middle schools throughout Washtenaw County in the 2019-20 academic year. 

2019-20 Participating High Schools

Chelsea High School



  • Set up a kiosk in the main hallway to promote P2P team and mission regarding mental health awareness. Facts and resources regarding anxiety and depression were displayed along with folders with resources so students could grab them at any time
  • Held an all school assembly with the #wishyouknew theme.
    • Presenters addressed mental illness, love for others, and perfectionism in a TED Talk format
    • The presenters included teachers, a current student, and a former student
    • In between each presenter videos were shown of students answering the question“wish you knew” along with the P2P core messages. School staff also walked on stage with their own "wish you knew" displayed visually on the stage
  • After the assembly, there was a lesson for the students to create a postcard to send to an adult about things they #wishyouknew
    • During the lesson, students were reminded about the P2P core messages and how to seek help
    • All students received a bracelet to remind them of the lessons and how to find help. The bracelets said #wishyouknew #whyyoumatter
  • Continued using Instagram (@whyyoumatterproject) to share students’ statements using the #wishyouknew prompt to promote mental health awareness
  • P2P students and CHS staff planned to present to K-8 Chelsea students about the P2P core messages, how to seek help, and how to identify a trusted adult. After the lesson, they planned to have each student write a postcard to send to an adult about things they #wishyouknew
  • Planned a Mental Health Awareness Week in March, which would include putting up professionally printed posters of CHS students holding a sign answering the questions “wish you knew…” as well as setting up a lunchroom display with resources and giveaways to raise awareness
  • Planned to have postcards available throughout the community for adults to write a postcard to students or whoever they want about what they #wishyouknew
    • Planned to display postcards written by community members and students throughout the community by hanging them in business windows as a public art campaign to spread mental health awareness
    • Planned to invite the community to view the exhibit via a #wishyouknew week or open houses

Community High School


“Know Science, No Stigma”

  • Year-long campaign, cut short by COVID-19
  • Created bulletin message slides that would be read during forum (homeroom) twice a week. Bulletin messages focused on mental health facts, conversation starters, self-care strategies, and mental health resources in and outside of school
  • Decorated school bulletin board with pictures of P2P Members (first time having more males than females), mental health posters, and a resource sheet
  • Continued utilizing Instagram (@chsdag) and posting mental health facts, tips, and resources
  • Created 12 poster designs and made ten copies of each design. Blanketed these posters all around the school
  • Designed two stickers with slogan “Know Science, No Stigma” and each student received stickers
  • P2P Members engaged in Photovoice project and shared their photographs and narratives during mini assemblies. After the assembly the Photovoice project was displayed on easels in the main hallway for the next two weeks
  • Sponsored a poetry reading where former CHS teacher read from her new book about growing up with a bipolar mother. Selected students also read their own poetry
  • Created banner that will be permanently displayed in main hallway recognizing
  • DAG/P2P as a resource in the school and also lists crisis text line and Ozone House crisis line
  • Planned three Friday wellness breaks in March offering yoga, meditation, and dance lunch breaks
  • Planned to engage in #wishyouknew Washtenaw campaign by having students write postcards and to display banner in main hallway
  • Planned finals week stress relief activities with bubbles and dum dums with messages of hope
  • Planned mental health/substance use prevention theatre show in April with EMU Engage and Ypsilanti High

Early College Alliance

“No one should be left in the dark.”

  • Created Instagram page (@eca_peer2peer)
    • In bio, placed slogan and link to mental health resource
    • Posts introduced P2P members and shared mental health facts, self-care strategies, and resources
  • Planned mental health awareness event with activities and educational presentations
  • Planned staff presentation to share their perspective on youth mental health
  • Planned art contest where students had to create art related to their slogan
  • Planned to design wristbands, sticker, and goodie bags to distribute as prizes and giveaways at event

Huron High School


“Know Science – no stigma”

  • Visited all 9 th grade World History classes in September to get the word out about Peer Lab / P2P
  • Delivered depression/anxiety awareness presentation to all health classes (9 th /10 th grade)
    • Started with agree/disagree statements that students responded to by moving around room
    • Watched personal video stories using Athletes Connected and Maxwell Gray video
  • Mental Health Awareness Week (3/9 – 3/13)
    • Delivered announcements about depression and anxiety each morning
    • Handed out wellness bags to every 3 rd hour class that included “how to help a friend” booklet from Washtenaw County Mental Health, stress ball, sticker, peppermints, and resource page
    • Planned mini assemblies that got cancelled that would have included guest speakers, performers, and group discussions around mental health
    • Planned reflection lessons after mini assemblies to process the content
    • Planned for other students outside of P2P to participate in #wishyouknew campaign
  • Created 4-minute #wishyouknew video with P2P members, teachers, administrators, and other staff expressing their “I wish you knew…” statements
  • Created Instagram (@huron_p2p) to spread outreach post-pandemic shutdown
    • Posted hopeful messages, educational content, and shared how P2P members were staying well
  • Designed stickers with slogan that were placed in goodie bags

Lincoln High School



  • Hosted a Mental Health Awareness Basketball Game against Ypsilanti Community High School
    • Resource table with information on depression and anxiety
  • Created t-shirts with their slogan for the Mental Health Awareness basketball game and week leading up to event
  • Gave out stress balls, stickers, and bracelets with slogan
  • Created an Instagram account to share mental health messages (@linctownp2p20)
  • Hosted guest speaker Ed-Dee Williams, who presented on racial disparities in mental health
  • Bulletin board with positive post-it notes
  • Planned a Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Daily announcements during Mental Health Awareness week
    • Hosted an assembly with guest speakers talking about depression, anxiety, and stigma reduction
    • Planned for a room where students could try multiple coping strategies
    • Planned to have P2P students present to classrooms about coping strategies and lead the class in 1-2 mindfulness activities

Manchester High School

  • Self-Care Week – During exam weeks, the P2P Team had hot cocoa available for students during the breaks.  On the cups were positive words/phrases related to the importance of self-care, along with signs listing support resources within the school. 
  • Offered free yoga from a certified yoga instructor to all students every day after school during exam week
  • Mental Health Assembly - On February 8, 2019, Jeff Olsen from the “Do It For Daniel” campaign presented at Manchester, speaking with students about depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention.  
  • Flowergrams – Students were able purchase flowers for one another (anonymously) with words of encouragement and positive statements 
  • Messages of Support – Students placed mental health messaging and resources around the school via colorful posters and writing with mirror markers in bathrooms.
  • Posters displayed around the school about signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, how to help a friend, and healthy coping skills 

Michigan Islamic Academy


“With CommUNITY Comes Peace, With Hardship Comes Ease”

  • Presentations in school assemblies regarding a variety of mental health topics
  • A student shared a personal experience of how bullying impacted their mental health for National Bullying Prevention Month
  • Shared information about eating disorders for National Eating Disorders Week
    • Students encouraged to wear purple
    • Mirror in hallway where students wrote positive messages
  • Monthly Mental Health Talks
  • Placed posters about how to cope with a panic attack in bathrooms
  • Posters with inspirational individuals in the Muslim community
  • Bulletin board with pictures of the P2P team members
  • Mental health focused poetry and art competition
  • Mailed all students a Ramadan card to support mental health during quarantine
  • Created an Instagram account (@peer2peermia) that included:
    • Mental health messages
    • Videos with coping at home strategies
    • Collaborated with yearbook club to start #whatidoinquarantine
  • Planned additional mental health talks around Sexual Assault Awareness month, study skills and stress reduction, Ramadan discussions and iftar, and a student-staff volleyball game to improve student-staff relationships

Milan High School


“When ‘I’ becomes ‘We’, Illness Becomes Wellness” | “Your Story Is Not Over”

  • Students worked on P2P campaign during dedicated class time
  • Planned Mental Health Awareness Week (3/23 – 3/27)
    • Photovoice: Four students created photos with matching narratives related to mental health that would have been put on display
    • Classroom presentations: Students co-created a mental health educational presentation to deliver to freshman history classes
    • Scavenger Hunt: Students co-created a scavenger hunt where students had to find different mental health facts within the building and the top finishers would receive prizes
    • Daily announcements: Announcements were to share mental health facts and resources
    • Pep Rally: Culmination of events with guest speaker sharing their personal story
    • Promotional Items: lanyards and wristbands with slogan “Your Story Is Not Over”

Pathways to Success High School

“You don’t have to be sick to get better”

  • Planned campaign with the goal to increase awareness of facts around depression and
  • provide resources for mental health
  • Created Instagram account (@p2pathways) to share mental health messaging
  • Planned to host a Mental Health Week to include:
    • School assembly with guest speaker
    • Daily mental health announcements
    • Flyers in bathroom stalls
    • Lunch informational resource table
    • Lunch & Learn Discussion in Media Center with information and food
  • Planned to create stress-reduction kits to be given away during final exams
  • Planned to hang posters throughout the school

Pioneer High School


“Connection is the Key”

  • “Cross the Line” activity with P2P Members as team building activity
  • Attended NAMI Out of the Darkness Walk and connected with broader Ann Arbor community
  • Presented mental health education lesson to health classes and led small group discussions
  • Led “Too much on your plate” activity with 9 th graders to talk about feeling overwhelmed and engaging in positive coping skills
  • Decorated school with mental health educational posters with resource numbers and had a bulletin board display of P2P members near front entrance
  • Conducted open P2P meetings to discuss mental health issues with peers not involved in P2P
  • Distributed mental health resource bookmarks during finals week
  • Coordinated all staff QPR training led by University of Michigan Depression Center team
  • Planned to display P2P photovoice project for two weeks
  • Planned mental health fair so that students can connect with and learn from community mental health organizations
  • Planned mental health assembly with guest speakers sharing their personal story and P2P members sharing mental health facts, tips, and resources
  • Created Google Classroom and Instagram (@aapioneerp2p) to continue to reach students post-pandemic shutdown

Saline High School


“When ‘I’ is Replaced With ‘We,’ Illness Becomes Wellness.”

  • Printed pencils with their slogan and the suicide hotline and distributed to all 11th graders
  • Distributed fidgets to all 9 th graders
  • Designed stickers with their slogan which were given out to 9 th graders
  • Printed posters with mental health messaging and placed them all over the school
  • Worked with an AP art student at the school to create a mural with the message, “Depression and Anxiety are real. You can’t just snap out of it.” It was painted by P2P students and located by one of the main stairwells to ensure wide visibility
  • Created Instagram (@salinep2p) to continue to reach students post-pandemic shutdown

Skyline High School


“Eagles vs. Stigma”

  • This year marked the largest P2P team to date
  • P2P team members participated in a 3-hour SafeTalk suicide alertness training to enhance
  • skills around identifying peers who may be at risk of suicide, ask directly about suicide and refer to resources
  • Weekly morning announcements around a variety of mental health topics including seasonal depression, the importance of help-seeking, behavioral activation, and mental health resources
  • Planned a school-wide “Eagles vs. Stigma Mental Health Summit”
    • Summit was to include grade specific breakout sessions led by Skyline staff and community professionals, in addition to a large group plenary session and self-care activities for school staff
    • Topics included: CBT/Mindfulness; Substance Abuse; How to Help a Friend in
  • Crisis; Stress Management; Senior Transition/Mental Health in College; Social Identities; music and guest speakers sharing stories of how they sought help
  • Purchased t-shirts for every student and staff member in the building with the slogan “Eagles vs. Stigma”
  • Students were to receive the t-shirt at the event; Seniors were able to get their t-shirt when they picked up their cap and gown

Washtenaw International High School


“Your Mind Matters”

    • Co-facilitated classroom presentations on depression and anxiety awareness to promote P2P’s core messages with counseling staff
    • Created 4 poster designs and made ten copies of each design. Blanketed these posters all around the school
    • Designed 3 different stickers and distributed to students throughout the campaign
    • Held a P2P Passport: an all school assembly on mental health where students could pick break out sessions to attend such as yoga, educational presentations, mindfulness skills, and intersectionality sessions.
    • Continued social media campaign on Instagram (@wihip2p) to promote mental health awareness, positive coping strategies, and maintain social connectedness during school closure

Washtenaw Technical Middle College

“It’s okay to not be okay”

    • Changed leadership mid-year, were considering campaign activities when COVID-19 hit
    • Designed and mailed postcards with mental health messaging and community resources to students during pandemic school closure to let students know that they are not alone
    • Postcards also included tips for staying well and resources 

Ypsilanti ACCE


“Speaking the Truth. The Uncomfy is to be Discussed”

  • Created Peer-to-Peer bulletin boards and posters with mental health messaging and resources
  • Planned and began recording a podcast series to help start conversations about mental health and delve into issues dealing with stigma, support, and barriers to getting help
  • Hosted guest speaker Ed-Dee Williams, who presented on racial disparities in mental health
  • Began hosting a speaker series with guests including mental health experts and students/staff with personal experience
  • Planned to create stress relief kits

Ypsilanti Community High School


“It’s okay not to be okay, let’s talk!”

  • Established a Twitter account (@YPeer2peer) to share mental health resources and tips with their peers
  • Created a bulletin board inside their cafeteria sharing posters created last year and pictures of the current P2P team to raise awareness of P2P within the school
  • Created lanyard and wristband designs with slogan
  • Planned Mental Health Awareness Week (3/16 – 3/20)
  • Mental health resource table staffed by P2P members sharing mental health tips and resources as well as distributing lanyards and wristbands 

These school teams of approximately 5-30 students each were selected by their teachers and counselors to attend one of two mental health educational conferences, on Oct. 24th or Nov 4th ,2019, at the University of Michigan Depression Center. The students participated in educational presentations to improve their knowledge of depression and anxiety, led by clinicians as well as presenters sharing their personal experiences with mental health issues. Also included was information on substance use, Photovoice, culturally relevant mental health, yoga, practical strategies for planning an effective awareness campaign, and time to brainstorm ideas for their campaign with their group. 

Following the opening conference, and with assistance from Faculty Mentors at each school, each team submitted a plan for their Peer-to-Peer project in December 2019, and then began implementing their campaigns January – May 2020. Unfortunately, all of the schools’ campaign events were postponed in March 2020 due to pandemic school closures. Many schools showed creativity and flexibility by moving their campaigns to remote options. Below are summaries of each school’s completed and planned activities.