#BreaktheStigma - Raise Awareness Today

Everyday - and especially during May - Mental Health Awareness Month - ADAA is very fortunate to receive stories and to be the beneficiary of many school projects and fundraisers focused on raising awareness about anxiety and depression.  We are honored to share these inspiring stories with our ADAA community.  We thank everyone for collaborating with us to educate, raise awareness and #breakthestigma around mental illness.

Share Your Story, Project or Fundraiser. Send us an email!


EZI2_0.jpegI never intended for depression or anxiety to be a part of my platform. When I was writing my EP I was speaking purely from my personal experiences, while writing it and speaking honestly I found a lot of what I had to say was about me not being ok in that particular time in my life. Now that the music is out I’ve had so many fans reach out to me and share their own struggles with anxiety depression, most of them seeking comfort and just wanting somebody to talk to about it. Read more. 

Now The 'Why?'


My name is Samantha Thornton. I've always had a passion for others so I decided to become an elementary school teacher to plant the seeds of a love for education into little hearts. I am currently a 5th grade content literacy teacher. I graduated from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!) and I'm currently living in South East Florida. Within these writings I hope to offer a unique perspective on suicide and grief and I'd like nothing more than to help others either start this conversation, think hard about their loved ones that would be left behind, or help my fellow sibling survivors not feel so painfully alone. “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Now The 'Why' - Part One: Six Weeks Later
Now The 'Why' - Part Two: Three Months Later
Now The 'Why' - Part Three: Five Months Later

Call For Action by Ariel Costa

Ariel Costa Call For Action_0.PNG"I decided to create this video as a call for action. I hope it will bring curiosity and access to people who seek help.

This project started as an unapproved concept for the amazing band Linkin Park. I was approached by Warner Music to create a visual idea for the song "HEAVY." Unfortunately, the band chose to pursue a different direction. Every year I try to create a personal project, to try out new techniques and learn something along the way. Since I was too attached to the visual I created with my friend Rodrigo Miguel, I decided not to kill the idea, but recycle it and turn my year's personal project into a good cause. Read more.

Stressed Out?

Rivka.pngTeens and adults deal with stress in many ways, such as escaping through work, school, and family, the National Institution of Mental Health says.While reactions to stress are individually unique, there are general trends regarding how adults deal with stress and how teens do.Often, teens complain that they are stressed or anxious. Sometimes, comments like these are cast aside by adults.Teen stress stems from social and academic pressures, says Ms. Yaffa Goldsmith of Cedarhurst, NY. “I think kids have a lot on their plate,” she says. “They have a lot of academic and social demands, and I feel like they don’t have a lot of time to just be themselves.” Read more.


Getting Involved, Making a Difference

PCORI.jpegResearch is no longer solely the province of the lab coat-wearing scientist. People diagnosed with mental illnesses, their family caregivers, healthcare providers, and social workers all can play a role in the research that affects the treatment of mental health.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI, is spearheading efforts to ensure the meaningful involvement of patients and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process. In the area of mental health, a patient-centered approach is critical. Read more.

Scarlett Garden


Marisa Herrera-Keehn, Lance Rodriguez, Stephen Terry, and Bethany Martin created their senior thesis together - a short film called "Scarlett Garden" that tells the story about a girl named Scarlett who tries to help her brother out of his depression. When they receive the news about their stepfather not being able to recover from a liver disease, her brother turns to alcoholism and locks himself in his home for days at a time. Through their video, the students wanted to portray the reality, and sometimes severity, of adult depression and turned to ADAA's website for information and resources. The video shows the reality of depression but is also helpful as it shows that you are never truly alone in this world and that there will always be someone fighting for you. Part of the students' plan also involved donating any remaining funds from the project to ADAA to help our ongoing outreach and educational programs. ADAA is so appreciative of the $1,750 we received from Marisa and her friends and invite you to watch their powerful video here. (please note that the video contains a few violent scenes and scenes where alcohol is consumed).

Glow Again

Glow-AganTEAM.JPGMy name is Mariah Dellinger and I am a junior at Lake High School in Stark County Ohio. I am in a two year Health Tech Preparatory program with about 24 other students. We learn a variety of things from medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, oral practicals of the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, back and hand, and we also get state certified to do the vision, hearing, blood pressure, muscle imbalance, stereopsis and color deficit health screenings at the elementary, middle and high schools around us. As a part of this program, our teacher partnered with a program called AmeriCorps through NEOMED (Northeast Ohio Medical School) and they have advisors come to help us set up projects to help our community. Myself and 8 other students chose depression as the topic of our project. After a couple meetings of brainstorming, we came up with the idea to do a glow in the dark depression awareness walk around our high school stadium and track called "Glow Again." We decided to call it glow again because by the end of the event, we wanted those struggling with depression to be "glowing" and those who haven't struggled to stand with the others to "glow." Read more. 

Jane's Campaign 

JanesSticker.JPGJane Li's Sticker Campaign

From presidential campaigns to multiple celebrity deaths, 2016 has been pretty disappointing for people of all different backgrounds. To help encourage people and set a more positive tone for 2017, I designed stickers to remind us that "We Gon' Be Alright."

With Inauguration Day coming up in January and a connection between chronic stress and depression, overall depression rates are projected to increase in the near future. To help those affected by these events, I will be donating all of the proceeds from this campaign to ADAA one of the leading nonprofits that offers resources to anyone experiencing anxiety, depression, and other related disorders. Thank you to Jane and her supporters for raising awareness about anxiety and for selecting ADAA as your fundraiser's beneficiary. We are so grateful! 

Read more about Jane's campaign:

Erika's School Project

Erika-StressBalls.JPGErika is a distinguished scholar at the Grosse Ile Middle School in Michigan. For my 7th grade year here at the middle school, I chose to research about anxiety because some of my friends have it and I wanted to try and help them out. I have only been researching about it for a few months and I already know so much about it! I have already helped my friends by making them stress balls and different gadgets to play with.They say that they are very helpful when it comes to a hard test or assignment. 

At the exhibition in May, I will be presenting this project. I will be showing a poster board with facts that I have learned, a paper explaining what this organisation is for and what it does for people, and what the stress balls look like and feel like. When this school year ends I will not stop reaching and learning about anxiety I think this topic is very interesting and I would like to learn so much more about it!


Web-Banner-Logo-TM-01_0.pngTake the Pledge: I Pledge to know the Five Signs of emotional suffering and change the culture surrounding 
mental health, mental illness, and wellness for my organization/group. Changedirection.org

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