On December 1, 2010, 16-year-old cherished son, brother, friend, varsity athlete and honor student T.J. Sefcik died by suicide. How could a boy with so much love and potential make this choice? In the hopes of preventing other teens from following the same path, T.J.’s parents and brother Matt share T.J.’s story of living with depression. Their hope is the life lessons they learned will raise awareness of the importance of taking care of your mental health. 1 in 5 Americans live with a diagnosable, mental health disorder in any given year. Depression in teens is a common illness. 1 in 8 teenagers experience some degree of depression.
This program provides students, parents and educators a view of what teen depression can look like. It educates them to pay attention to their mental health and emotions, something that is often pushed to the side. They describe many of the red flags often dismissed as typical teenage behavior. Their story gives hope to teens who may be struggling and are unaware of what to do with how they’re feeling. The program empowers teens to look to others (friends, teachers, trusted adults) for help and support. It offers insights to parents and teachers to help them better understand teens and to differentiate between typical teen behavior and something 'more.'
The program is appropriate for:
• middle school, high school, and college students
• teacher in-service programs
• parent programs
• corporate lunch-and-learns
• clinician workshops and forums
• law enforcement and first responders
There is no fee for the program.
The program involves storytelling, fact sharing, slides and videos that weave the Sefciks' experience into a program that leaves attendees better equipped to identify and deal with mental health situations for themselves and others.
The goal is to leave attendees feeling informed, empowered and HOPEFUL.