2016-11-03 / Community News

Time Magazine story features Project AWARE youth

A dozen teens involved with Saco-based Project AWARE shared their stories about anxiety and depression with Time Magazine. The article is the Nov. 7 cover story and features three of the youth, including Faith-Ann Bishop, writer/co-writer of four Project AWARE films. Her movies, based in part on personal experiences with depression, anxiety, and self harm, include “The Road Back” and “A better place.” Bishop, 20, lives in California and is from Hermon. Other teens featured are from the southern Maine area.

In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys – totaling 6.3 million teens – have had an anxiety disorder, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health.

According to the Time article, “One of the most powerful things Faith-Ann did to escape the cycle of anxiety, depression and self-harm was to channel her feelings into something creative. As part of the Project AWARE teen program in Maine, she wrote and directed a short film about anxiety and depression in teens called ‘The Road Back.’ More than 30 kids worked on the project, and they became a support system for one another as she continued to heal.”

Acadia Hospital in Bangor co-produced the 32-minute movie.

Bishop, pictured on Time’s cover, wanted to make a difference not only for her peers, but also for parents.

“Please talk to your kids and family members about depression, anxiety and self harm. Raise awareness,” she said. “The best thing you can do is educate yourself and help others feel less alone.”

Susanna Schrobsdorff, author of the story and an editor at Time, contacted Project AWARE after seeing the piece online. She was hoping to talk with teens willing to share their story. Project AWARE teens met with Schrobsdorff at Engine in Biddeford and shared how these issues impacted them.

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