Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Program
Mental Health Awareness and Stigma Reduction
Several of the team’s community outreach projects and public policy initiatives focus on the development and implementation of awareness and stigma reduction interventions in community schools. In addition, we have been actively involved in advocacy for public policy initiatives in this area.
Western Michigan residents, Peter and Susan Ordway, have provided funding to initiate a depression awareness and suicide prevention project in the Gull Lake Schools community. Project components include training for teachers and administrators, education for parents, students and community members in order to improve knowledge about depression and suicide. The long-term goal is to have a sustainable, ongoing community effort to to help identify and reach out to youth at risk for depression and suicide.
Ann Arbor Public Schools Initiative
Our Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Program within the Department of Psychiatry is collaborating with the University of Michigan Depression Center (Lead: Trish Meyer) and the Ann Arbor Public Schools to develop and implement a depression education program for middle and high school professionals. The provision of training sessions for professionals will help to identify and refer youth who may be, at risk of, or already suffering from depression.
Michigan Public Schools: Depression Awareness and Suicide Prevention
Chase Edwards Law, House Bill 4375, encourages public schools to provide age-appropriate instruction to students regarding warning signs, risk factors and protective factors for depression and suicide. The goal is to also encourage professional development for teachers. Working with Jeff and Laura Edwards, Dr. Cheryl King, Director of the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Program, was actively involved in the development of this legislation as well as in advocacy efforts to ensure its passage.