2019-20 P2P Middle School

Middle School 

Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Campaign: 2019-20 School Year
A collaboration between the Eisenberg Family Depression Center and Washtenaw County Middle Schools

Project Overview

In 2007, the Eisenberg Family 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 middle and 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.

Since the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) program began in 2009, over 1,600 students have become P2P educators and advocates creating over 300 student-run events. The number of students reached through these schoolwide campaigns would fill the Big House to capacity! During the 2019-2020 academic year, 16 high schools and 11 middle schools throughout Washtenaw County participated.

2019-20 Participating Middle Schools

Ann Arbor Open School


“It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”     

  • Held weekly Friday lunch meetings with Peer-to-Peer (P2P) members starting in late October to teach symptomatology, mental health stigma, and communication skills; to role-play and practice active listening skills, giving empathy, and how to refer someone to a trusted adult. These meetings continued via Google Meet after school closure
  • Completed a kickoff mental health awareness assembly for grades 5-8 in January with Will Heininger sharing his personal experience as well as introducing the P2P members
  • Reused last year’s posters that shared mental health statistics, positive coping strategies, tips on how to help a friend who is struggling, resources, and encouragement for their peers to take mental health seriously
  • Created an Instagram (@a2o_p2p) to spread messages of resilience, self-care and mental health awareness after the school closure
  • Several students participated in the U-M Depression Center video challenge to promote P2P core messages and one Ann Arbor Open student won! The winning video was shared with the A2O community via Instagram, Twitter, and Counseling Google Classroom page
  • Planned to hold a Mental Health Awareness Week that would include a visiting yoga instructor to hold sessions, a student-created help-seeking video to be shared with advisories, and student-designed stress balls with the slogan “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” 
  • Planned to create a bulletin board outside of counselor’s office with pictures of all of the P2P student leaders

Beach Middle School



  • Decorated a bulletin board introducing all of the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) members, P2P four core messages, and celebrities with mental health concerns
  • Designed a Mental Health Matters sticker with the slogan #endstigma that were to be given to every student during Mental Health Matters Day
  • Shared a student-created mindfulness video that was played during morning announcements
  • Created an Instagram (@bms_p2p) and Twitter (@bms_p2p) to spread positive messages, self-care, and mental health awareness after school closure
  • Students participated in the U-M Depression Center video challenge to promote P2P core messages and they were shared on the P2P resource website
  • Created a video about completed and planned campaign activities as well as personal testimony from three P2P students for the P2P End of Year Celebration
  • Planned to hold a Mental Health Matters day in March that would include: 
    • Mental health 101 session: students would learn about depression and anxiety 

    • One speaker per grade level to share their personal story with mental health

    • Coping skills fair, yoga, and mindfulness: Learn different methods and practice

    • Star Wars dodgeball games: students would have to respond to questions about mental health to re-enter the game after getting out

  • Planned to hold a Mental Health Facts Scavenger Hunt that would include posting clues on the bulletin board for a scavenger hunt type activity that would involve researching mental health facts and students could win prizes event

Clague Middle School


“Speak Up… Stop the Silence”

  • Designed stickers with slogan and bookmarks with coping strategies and mental health resources
  • Delivered virtual coping strategy and mindfulness sessions during advisory post-pandemic school closure 
  • Planned Mental Health Awareness Day in April with P2P Members coordinating and facilitating different stations
    • Mindfulness and Meditation station: Learn benefits and practice

    • Personal experience station: Bring in guest speaker sharing their experience with depression or anxiety

    • Therapy dog station: Learn benefits and experience therapy dogs

    • Self-care + coping strategies station: Learn different methods and practice

    • Kahoot station: Learn more about depression and anxiety and get to test their knowledge

Forsythe Middle School


“Sometimes It’s More Than Just a Bad Day”

  • Planned a series of weekly announcements for “Talk it out Tuesday”
  • Planned Community Day slideshows to be led by P2P members in advisory classes to share information about depression, anxiety, and available resources
  • Planned to create a bulletin board with mental health messaging
  • Planned to hand out lanyards and stickers with their slogan, “Sometimes It’s More Than Just a Bad Day”
  • Planned to host an assembly with high school speakers to share their experiences struggling with mental health issues in order to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking

Lincoln Middle School


“Speak Up... Stop the Silence.”

  • Created skit about a student named Jack who is showing signs of depression and how a friend was able to identify that Jack may have depression and connected them to help
  • Delivered lesson after skit busting myths about depression and discussing what mental health resources are available within and outside of school
  • Provided time after lesson for students to ask questions to P2P members and then showed them the P2P 10-year celebration video to highlight the program and the LMS team members in the video
  • Planned to pass out lanyards they designed and raffle off gift cards to students that engaged in the presentation

Mill Creek Middle School


“When I Becomes We, Illness Becomes Wellness”

  • Set overall campaign goals “to raise awareness that depression is a real illness and not something that you can just ‘snap out of,’ to decrease stigma, and increase help-seeking”
  • Other major aim was to increase understanding of how people’s words impact others’ mental health and wellbeing
  • P2P team members facilitated presentations in all health classes that included mental health education and conversation. Following the presentation, P2P members saw:
  • oMany students left with a better understanding of depression and how to get help
  • oStudents reached out to counselors and P2P members
  • oAn increased understanding among students about the importance of not joking about depression/not creating stigma 
  • oChanges could be seen directly after the presentation
  • Hosted a series of small group presentations for the whole school with guest speaker Will Heininger, who shared his personal battle with depression and anxiety, and allowed students to ask questions about his story, as well as their own mental health and wellbeing
  • P2P team presented at a Mill Creek staff meeting with the goal of increasing comfort of student-staff discussions around mental health issues
  • Created “Take a Compliment Posters” that included tear-off compliments which could be passed around to peers
  • Displayed a series of posters with mental health messaging
  • Expanded on the previous year’s Butterfly Project, which included displays of butterflies with positive messaging 
  • Planned to host an assembly with high school speakers to share their experiences struggling with mental health issues in order to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking

Scarlett Middle School


“Sometimes It’s More Than Just a Bad Day”

  • Poster campaign throughout the school with P2P messages and resources which was updated twice
  • Bulletin board in lunchroom with information on how to "beat the winter blues"
  • Created "Mental Health Monday" slides that were included in the school's CCA (homeroom) lessons over several weeks
  • Planned additional bulletin board designs to be rotated over the course of the year with different mental health messaging
  • Ordered pencils for the entire school with their slogan, “Sometimes It’s More Than Just a Bad Day” to be handed out in the spring
  • Planned a ‘positive message board’ with "encourage-mints" campaign in the cafeteria

Slauson Middle School


“Out of the Blue, Into the Bright”

  • Developed weekly announcements to educate peers about depression and anxiety
  • Created a bulletin board with the slogan “Out of the Blue, Into the Bright” as well as informational posters about mental health and resources
  • Designed and planned to give away wristbands with their slogan “Out of the Blue, Into the Bright” and the Crisis Text Line as well as stickers that said “Mental Health Matters”
  • Planned to display posters with positive mental health messaging around the school
  • Planned to host an information + resource table outside of the cafeteria, with resources on depression and anxiety, as well as giveaways for students
  • Planned to present to peers in health class about depression and mental health awareness

Tappan Middle School


“Know Science, No Stigma”

  • P2P students wore their P2P T-shirts every Thursday to spread awareness
  • Depression Facts Announcements that included P2P four core messages
  • Depression Facts Posters that included P2P four core messages
  • Wristband distribution with the “Know Science, No Stigma” slogan to all students
  • School-wide presentation/assembly with Will Heininger who shared his personal story with depression and help-seeking 
  • Planned to produce a video to educate students about the P2P member role and four core messages that would be shown during Trojan Time (Advisory)
  • Planned to collaborate with the TMS Student Equity Team to facilitate classroom presentations to educate students about adolescents and their mental health

Washtenaw International Middle Academy


“Your Mind Matters”

  • Co-facilitated classroom sessions on depression and anxiety awareness to promote P2P’s four core messages with the P2P mentor
  • Designed four posters that included the slogan “Your Mind Matters” using the black dog theme from their video presentation to classrooms along with resources and P2P four core messages and hung them throughout the school
  • Collaborated with the Washtenaw International High School P2P team to create and distribute 3 student-designed stickers with their slogan
  • Held a P2P Passport all school assembly on mental health where students could pick breakout sessions to attend such as yoga, educational presentations, mindfulness skills, and intersectionality sessions 

Ypsilanti Community Middle School


“Speak Up… Stop the Silence”

  • Created a “Take a Heart – Leave a Heart” display that showed members of the P2P team as well as messages of encouragement that students could write for someone else or could take a message for themselves
  • Planned to create an all-day multimedia show and have students come in to learn more about depression and anxiety. Different groups of students planned different presentations including posters, photographs, skits, painting, slide shows, songs, and cartoons
  • Planned to pass out water bottles, buttons, and cards with P2P slogan and mental health resource information