P2P 17-18 Middle School

Middle School
Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Campaign: 2017-2018 School Year
A collaboration between the U-M Depression Center and Washtenaw & Oakland County High Schools

group photo

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 Peer-to- Peer (P2P) enters its second decade. This year marked P2P’s first time in middle schools, partnering with nine Washtenaw County middle schools to address the need for early mental health education, identification, and help-seeking. Twelve high schools participated in P2P during this academic year as well.

The middle schools that participated in the 2017-2018 academic year are below:

These school teams of approximately 5-20 students each were selected by their teachers and counselors to attend a mental health educational conference on November 13th, 2017. The students participated in educational presentations to improve their knowledge of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem’s impact on one’s mental health. Presentations were led by clinicians as well as a high school and college student presenter sharing their personal experiences with mental health issues. Also included was information on 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 2017, and then began implementing their campaigns January – May, 2018. Below are summaries of each school’s activities.

clague

Clague Middle School
 “Help helps, you are not alone!”

  • Provided 15-minute classroom presentations on mental health to every advisory class in the school
  • Hung 20 posters around the school that explained what to do if you had depression and emphasized that depression and anxiety are real health conditions
  • Passed out 500 pencils with their slogan and 500 pencils that said “Clague P2P Depression Awareness”

forsythe

Forsythe Middle School

“Reach Out, You’re Not Alone”

  • Created mental health awareness posters which they displayed throughout the school
  • Shared information about depression, anxiety, and resource through daily announcements
  • Created an awareness video, which was shown to the whole school and modeled student help-seeking and resource utilization to encourage reaching out to a friend, and reaching out for help yourself if you’re struggling

lincoln

Lincoln Middle School
“Lincoln Strong”

  • Presented to their peers a skit on depression, suicidality, with clinician and P2P Mentor, Jay Holden (above, far right)
  • Displayed a variety of posters around school, including “What Causes Depression?,” “Depression in the LGBTQ Community,” and “Healthy Coping Skills”
  • Ordered and distributed 800 “Lincoln Strong” wristbands to classmates, as a sign of solidarity and suicide awareness. The other text said “P2P”
  • Wore their P2P T-shirts to school every Thursday, as student ambassadors to the Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Program

mill creek

Mill Creek Middle School
“Get Help! There Is Hope”

  • Created interactive classroom presentations to discuss signs and symptoms of Depression, Anxiety, and other mental illnesses
  • Handed out 600 P2P bookmarks with signs and symptoms of depression, how to help a friend, and mental health resources listed. Wore their P2P T-shirts to school every Thursday, as student ambassadors to the Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Program
  • Created keychains with their motto: ‘Get Help! There is Hope’ to pass out to students and staff
  • Selected impactful, educational mental health posters to hang in high-visibility areas in school, such as “Depression is Not a Weakness,” and “How to Help a Friend”

scarlett

Scarlett Middle School
“Breathe, You Got This”

  • Each CCA classroom received a mental health lesson
  • Students facilitated a mental health awareness week during midterms with a different activity/message each day, which included positive messaging and coping skills
    • Monday: Positive messaging on mirrors in bathrooms
    • Tuesday: Created a display encouraging students to contribute “I am” statements to self-reflect on positive aspects of themselves
    • Wednesday: Daily News announcements with facts about depression, anxiety, and available resources
    • Thursday: Demonstrated box breathing technique in classrooms and provided coloring sheets and colored pencils to teachers to include in a “calming kit” as a stress reliever
    • Friday: Passed out wristbands with their slogan ““Breathe, You Got This”
  • Collaborated with the high school to host a mental health awareness assembly at Scarlett where they had a student share a story of struggle and help-seeking and provided information on resources

slauson

Slauson Middle School
“Make a Confession to Beat Depression”

  • Passed out bookmarks with relevant mental health resources and information
  • Used stress balls and wristbands with their slogan, “Make a confession to beat Depression!” as a way to reduced stigma and promote help-seeking at Slauson
  • Presented to peer health classes about signs and symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
  • Posted mental health resources around the school

tappan

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

  • Passed out 800 buttons with their slogan, “Sometimes it’s more than just a bad day,” and “P2P”
  • Used mental health-related bookmarks, wristbands, and business cards, to increase awareness of resources and encourage help-seeking
  • Sampled student body opinions on Depression, Anxiety, seeking treatment, stigma, and many other variables, both pre- and post-campaign

washtenaw

Washtenaw International Middle Academy
“Trust to Discuss”  “Don’t Tell Someone”

  • Partnered with Washtenaw International High School to create a building-wide mental health awareness campaign
  • Hung 50 posters throughout the middle and high school with the following messages:
    • Don’t Tell Someone”
    • “Trust to Discuss”
    • “Working Together to End the Stigma”
    • “Mental Health is just as important as Physical Health”
    • “Not All Illnesses are Visible”
  • Presented to all middle school students via classroom presentations on what P2P does, some basic mental health facts, and they also shared resources to get help if you or someone you know is struggling
  • Passed out wristbands to middle school students that said “Mental Health; Trust to Discuss”
  • Heather Dakki, a clinician from the UM Depression Center, did a lunch & learn presentation on anxiety to a group of 30 middle school students

Ypsilanti Community Middle School
“Speak Up When You’re Feeling Down”

  • Decorated and presented tri-fold poster board with depression facts and specific resources to get help, such as Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools, during lunch time
  • Passed out wristbands that said “Speak Up When You’re Feeling Down; 734-662-2222” to any student who participated in the pre/post-test or came to the table during lunch