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Parkland students learn to fight depression

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 05 2012 08:16:34 AM CDT

Parkland Depression Protection

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Even though depression is one of the leading medical illnesses in teenagers, it can be tough to diagnose. But now some Parkland High School students have the skills to spot the symptoms.

Eleventh grade students are learning the symptoms of a leading medical illness for teens, which happens to be depression.

"About five percent of teenagers are actually diagnosed with depression," said Joe Webster of Weller Health Education. "So a school like Parkland, 3,000 students, that's 150 students in the school that will be diagnosed with depression. So it is a serious problem." 

The class is called Adolescent Depression Awareness Program or ADAP for short.
It helps teens look for signs like decreased energy, loss of appetite, a decreased interest in activities

"That's one of the myths about depression. That teenagers are sad when they are depressed," said Webster.

The class will be taught in six high schools across the state. The money came from a grant from a healthcare company. Teachers say they hope the students in the class will take the lessons and hopefully help their friends.

"If they know somebody or themselves are suffering from depression they can get the help they need."

Students aren't the only people learning these lessons. The Parkland School District will hold a class for parents on October 17.