Peer educators and District Mentors brainstormed together to name the Here4U program.
This project trains teams of peer educators to develop a year-long campaign that aims to:
- Increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Diminish stigma around depression, anxiety, and help seeking behaviors.
- Connect peers with trusted adults and mental health supports in their community.
Support Provided by
Project AWARE Grant
Jewish Family Service
Oakland County Health Division
Oakland County Suicide Prevention Task Force
Oakland Family Services
Oakland Community Health Network
Pontiac High School
Holly High School
Troy High School
Troy Athens High School
Clarkston High School
The Here4U Project is based on the University of Michigan Depression Center (UMDC) Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Program.
What is a Peer Educator?
Becoming a Here4U peer educator provides the chance to influence and lead in your school building.
Under the guidance of your school’s Here4U mentor, you will positively impact the culture in your school as part of a team of peers that encourage awareness, diminish stigma, and connect peers to help. Becoming a peer educator is not about providing counseling or diagnosing yourself or your peers.
Currently the Here4U program is operating in four Oakland County high schools: Pontiac High School, Holly High School, Troy Athens High School, Troy High School and Clarkston High School.
Are you interested in bringing Here4U to your school? Think you have what it takes to be a Peer Educator?
Send Here4U an email to learn more or show your school principal or counselor the great things happening in our participating schools.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available 24/7.
Call 800.273.TALK (8255) or Text “Hello” to 741741.
How Here4U got started
Oakland Schools received the SAMHSA Project AWARE grant in 2014, this work focused on building the knowledge and skills of adults that work with youth experiencing mental health issues to better detect, respond, and connect youth to appropriate mental health services.
Project AWARE pilot districts were given the opportunity to join the U of M depression Center’s Peer to Peer Program in the fall of 2017.
“The goals of the Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Campaign are to
1) educate high school students about depression and depressive illnesses, and
2) support them in finding creative ways to convey this knowledge to their peers in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, encourage help-seeking when needed, and ultimately, help to promote the early detection of depression, bipolar disorder, and related illnesses.”
High schools from Holly Area Schools and Pontiac School District both joined Peer to Peer for the fall of 2017 launch. The Project AWARE grant covered each schools’ 2017 campaign budget and transportation costs.
Oakland Schools staff attended events and worked closely with Holly and Pontiac with the hope of bringing a version of the peer education project to all Oakland County school districts for low to no cost in the future.
Staff Training around Youth Mental Health
Prior to a OC Here 4 U team launching a mental health awareness campaign with their peers, it is required that building staff have received training related to recognizing, responding to, and referring students for mental health services.
Join Oakland County Here4U in year 2021
Trains teams of high school peer educators to develop a year-long campaign that
- Increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Diminish stigma around depression, anxiety, and help seeking behaviors
- Connect peers with trusted adults and mental health supports in their
Here4U is in the second year and continuing to expand county-wide for 2021.
Questions? Send us an email!