How might we de-stigmatize depression in middle school, and provide students tools to seek help when they need it?
When One Stone students learned of the high rate of depression and other mental health issues impacting teens, many of them felt an urgency to dive in, study the issue and learn how they might be part of a solution to a complex problem. That solution was BECOME; a day of peer-to-peer self esteem development that empowered students to BECOME a free, strong, accepting and ONE community.
Staged at Fairmont Junior High, One Stone team members led the group of 63 change makers through team building games, guided experience sharing, and a powerful 'cross the line' activity. Through these, students learned to be free to be themselves, strong enough to ask for help when needed, accepting of themselves and each other, and to remain one positive role model for other teens.
The impactful message reached both the Fairmont students AND the One Stone team members. Three One Stone students shared their personal stories of depression and the steps they took to reach out for help.
Forty-two Fairmont students and 21 One Stone team members pushed past differences to become a supportive community. In a post-event survey, 98% of the Fairmont participants reported that they felt better equipped to handle depression, 95% felt more free to be themselves, and 100% reported that they would feel more accepting of others.
In their own words, students shared what they learned:
“It’s okay to ask for help.”
“I learned that I am not alone.”
“Differences don’t mean that we can’t unite.”