Dozens of Wellesley students responded to a single question asked by the Interact teens, What do you wish your (parents, coaches, teachers, club leaders) knew about (stress, anxiety, mental health, etc)? The answers inform their activities in a project titled 'Peer Leadership & Depression Prevention'.  For more information, email Rotarian Susan Bevilacqua (susanbevi@comcast.netInteract), the Interact Advisor.
Here are some of the responses collected:
  • That I have a lot more stress from school than they might understand
  • Wish my coaches understood my anxiety and stress 
  • That it exists!!
  • That it consumes your life, makes everything a lot harder, can’t get up in the morning, sometimes it’s hard to focus  
  • I wish my boss and Sensei and friends knew that I am really stressed right now and it’s making me depressed. I can’t always perform perfectly because I have SO MUCH STUFF going on in my life. And I never want to hang out because I’m depressed. 
  • I wish my parents knew that my problems with stress and anxiety are not unique to me but common among many of my peers. Moreover, I'd want them to know my stress levels are not an attitude problem or a product of me being dramatic. 
  • I would like my teachers to know that in some cases my stress has physically impeded my ability to function on a daily basis: it affects my sleep, diet, and I become sick from high stress levels often. 
Wellesley project goes global:
Interact teens started the Peer Leadership & Depression Prevention project in Wellesley a few years ago.  Its clear positive outcomes described in this link has brought it international.