Kicking Off the School Year with Peer-to-Peer Teen Events About Depression in Massachusetts

Date Posted

September 5, 2019



We are excited to share that Families for Depression Awareness recently received a grant award from the Foundation for MetroWest’s Youth in Philanthropy program! This generous gift will allow us to bring Teen Speaker events to the MetroWest community.

Interested to learn how to bring our Teen Speaker program to your Massachusetts community? Learn how we work with schools and community partners here.

Here is an excerpt from the press release about FFDA’s Teen Program and Foundation for MetroWest’s support.

“Thanks to generous funding from the Foundation for MetroWest’s Youth in Philanthropy program, Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) will hold three Teen Speaker events in Waltham and Framingham this academic year. FFDA’s Teen Speakers, young adults aged 14-25, share their personal experiences with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder with high school and college-age audiences to decrease stigma and increase help-seeking behavior among youth. The program utilizes an evidence-based contact strategy that positively influences perceptions of people living with mental health conditions.

“The Teen Speaker events respond to worrisome trends in youth mental health. The 2018 MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey of Regional High School Youth showed that 20% of students experienced depressive symptoms (feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks) in the previous year and a staggering 48% of females (23% of males) reported high levels of stress.

“’We are grateful to funders, like Foundation for MetroWest, who recognize the importance of upstream suicide prevention programs,” says Susan Weinstein, FFDA Co-Executive Director. “When teens hear adults talk about mental health, you run the risk of it going in one ear and out the other. But when they learn about mood disorders directly from their peers, they are more likely to absorb the information and act on it.’

“’Through our Teen Speaker events, we want MetroWest students to see that mental health concerns can affect people from all backgrounds and that it is possible to get well,” Weinstein states. “It is crucial that teens reach out for help from a trusted adult so that untreated depression doesn’t hamper their personal and academic success.’

“Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) is an experiential leadership development program offered through the Foundation for MetroWest designed to empower and educate local youth to become our community’s next generation of philanthropists—those who give their time, talent, and treasure for the common good. The inaugural program ran in 1997, and over the past 20 years YIP has grown to become the largest and oldest youth philanthropy education program in the country.

To learn about the Foundation for MetroWest and the other services they provide, please visit or call (508) 647-2260.”

Click to download the press release