Ever wonder who’s behind Families for Depression Awareness’ (FFDA) social media? FFDA works with talented student interns who help create engaging content for our families. Our amazing intern for this academic year, Kasey Sierra, attended our annual fall fundraiser and prepared the following report.

Representative Jack Lewis

Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) held our sixth annual Evening of Hope and Discovery event on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Robert Treat Paine Estate in Waltham, Mass.

The fundraiser consisted of a silent auction with items such as Red Sox tickets and memorabilia signed by Red Sox manager, Alex Cora, Celtics tickets, and gift cards to spas, ski resorts, and restaurants. The evening also included speeches by Representative Jack Lewis from the 7th Middlesex District and Dr. Dori Hutchinson, Associate Clinical Professor at Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Lucy Lin (Right)

Lucy Lin, a member of FFDA’s Board of Directors for the FFDA, attended and shared, “My favorite part of the evening was when Representative Lewis spoke. He really went into his personal story of growing up in the Midwest, moving to Massachusetts, and dealing with his own mental health issues. He was very transparent and it was enlightening to hear him speak.”

FFDA also celebrated our Teen Speakers, who are young adults, age 14 to 25, who go out into communities to tell their own stories of learning to live with and manage symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder.

Dave, a volunteer for FFDA, attending the annual fundraising event for the first time this year. Dave reflected with me on his experiences during the evening.  “What really touched me was the Teen Speakers Program, recognizing the young adults that are out there supporting the communities, spreading awareness, and sharing their stories. It’s a very bold thing to do at that age. I was impressed and captured by the feeling of hope after meeting the Teen Speakers.”

Giovanni (left) speaking with Co-Executive Director Susan Weinstein (right)

At the end of the evening, the winners of the silent auction were announced and guests continued to mingle amongst each other at the beautiful Stonehurst estate. Giovanni Marinelli, a representative from Square Medical Group, remarked the following: “FFDA and Square Medical have similar missions in terms of spreading more awareness about depression. I loved hearing about what FFDA is doing, it enlightened me to learn more about teen depression, specifically.” Marinelli continued, “It made sense to connect with an organization also working on depression. I had such a great time meeting other people in the same field. It was a great event.”

FFDA continues with our work to spread mental health awareness through storytelling and eliminate the stigma of mood disorders. If you missed the event but want to be more involved with the work of our organization, fill out this volunteer form.


Additional resources

  • Want to learn more about interning with FFDA? Read Elaina Pevide’s reflections from last year.
  • Students majoring in psychology, social work, marketing, or event management can email a resume and cover letter to info@familyaware.org to be considered for an internship.
  • Be a part of our #GivingTuesday campaign! For more information, email valerie@familyaware.org.