Local organization teaches students about warning signs of depression

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Suicide remains the leading cause of death for youth aged 10 to 14. An Arizona organization hopes to change that. Executive Director of Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Chris Phillis, joined Arizona Horizon to share more.

Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life is an organization aiming to teach students about the warning signs for depression, bullying, grief, and abuse to empower students to be able to talk to trusted adults about these issues.

The organization holds a yearly conference for 6th to 12th-grade students to equip them with the knowledge to break the silence and learn, share, and grow.

54 school districts in 21 cities throughout Arizona have participated in the program.

Small groups of children who attend the conference create plans to spread this crucial message throughout their schools. These students will then ignite conversations and break the stigma in their classrooms.

“We give them the warning signs and encourage them and tell them that they can trust an adult,” said Phillis.

Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life emphasizes their goal isn’t for students to become diagnosticians of their peers’ mental health struggles. Instead, they encourage students to share their concerns or questions with a trusted teacher or school administrator who can provide appropriate support and intervention. It’s about creating a support network, where no one battles alone.

Chris Phillis, Executive Director of Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life

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