The first time I ever recall thinking about hurting myself was at the age of 12.  I don’t remember why, but I remember feeling like the world was caving in on me.  This feeling has visited me time and time again… even into my adult years.  The feeling left me when I found the love of the Creator and hasn’t returned since.

Last summer, one of my best friends from childhood, committed suicide.  I was left feeling like I failed him as a friend.  Why didn’t I know things were this bad?  Why didn’t I recognize the symptoms?  These were the thoughts running through my head.

What I have learned is this; suicide is often the result of someone suffering from some level of mental illness.  Mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes.  Mental illness is not always diagnosed or easy to recognize.  And the truth is, young people are not likely to express to you, the parent, teacher, coach, mentor, etc. that they are depressed.  So here are some things to look for that may help you identify if a young person is depressed.  Being able to identify this behavior can prevent future harm of a young person.

Symptoms of teen depression:

(Present for more than two weeks and affects daily functioning)

  • Persistent sad, irritable mood
  • Sense of hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, activities
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Changes in appetite and sleeping patterns
  • Risky behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you see these signs or symptoms, it is important to talk with your child or student about what you are observing. It may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary.  Then be sure to get them help!  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my friend.  He may have been feeling depressed since childhood, just like me!  However, he never addressed those feelings and now he is no longer here. Let’s help prevent a young person from ever getting to the point of taking their own life!

Parent’s This is For You

May 12, 2021

Parents it’s no secret that sleep plays an important role in good physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted in the short-term, but it can also have serious long-term health consequences as well. Lack of sleep is linked to…

Read More

Keys to Life Is Back

May 12, 2021

IT’S BACK! Our Keys 2 Life Performing Arts Summer Camp has gone VIRTUAL HYBRID! This amazing 4-week summer camp starts Monday, July 5th, and includes virtual classes on Beat Making, Music Production, Dance, Acting, Stringed Instrumentation, Song-Writing, and In-Person Field Trips (CDC guideline compliant)! Also…

Read More

Happy Mother’s Day

May 9, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms.

Read More

Album For the Yunion Alumni

May 6, 2021

Today we want to honor one of our Yunion Alumni. Tiaunna Bradley was 10 years old when we first met her. She was a part of our Keys 2 Life and SWAG program. We had the honor and pleasure of following her through High School…

Read More

Parenting Tip Tuesday!

May 4, 2021

“Show Your Teen Respect and Expect It in Return” Parents we know the second part of the tip goes without saying but we wanted to let you know they go hand in hand. As our children go through adolescence they are transitioning and we should…

Read More

The Yunion Alumni

May 3, 2021

We want to take the time to acknowledge one of our “Yunion Alumni”. Shaq Hall has gone through several of the Yunion’s Programs (SWAG, The Cave of Adullam, Keys 2 Life). He has also worked for us doing photography and video work. Yesterday he graduated…

Read More

Friday Yunion Parent Check-In

April 30, 2021
Read More

Parent’s this is for you!

April 28, 2021

Parents, Did You Know? The only 100% guaranteed way to avoid STIs/STDs is to not have any kind of sexual contact — like vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or skin-to-skin genital touching — with another person. At the Yunion we focus on a Sexual Risk…

Read More

Mothers and Fathers!

April 26, 2021

Mothers and Fathers! Listen as our CEO and founder Jason Wilson talks about the importance of healing from your mother’s wound.

Read More

Friday Yunion Parent Check-in

April 23, 2021
Read More

Parents, can you relate?

April 23, 2021
Read More

Parents! Did you know?

April 21, 2021

1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease every year. Parents, it’s never too early to start talking to your child/teen about sex (age appropriate conversations of course). We encourage you to talk early and talk often. The culture and media bombard our youth…

Read More

The Nine Nonprofit Leaders Work Together To Form The Black Executive Director Alliance of Detroit

April 20, 2021

Our Executive Director Nicole Wilson is one of nine black Executive Directors featured in this article. The Black Executive Director Alliance of Detroit includes Tiffany Brown, founder and executive director of Developing Despite Distance; Reneé Fluker, founder and president of the Midnight Golf Program; Richard…

Read More

I need to talk to you

April 20, 2021

Parents, have their attention before you speak. If you are too busy to stop what you are doing and just yell from the next room it is likely that your teenager will be too busy to stop what she is doing to listen to you.…

Read More

Parents what’s your opinion

April 19, 2021

Parents, what’s your opinion? Sex is one of the most daunting conversations a parent can have with their child. It’s also a conversation that’s apparently being had too late. In 2009, TIME Magazine reported that more than 40% of teens had intercourse before talking to…

Read More

Great lesson from Jason Wilson

April 16, 2021

Great lesson from our CEO Jason Wilson. “It’s imperative that we teach our sons how to rule their emotions so that they can respond instead of react.”

Read More

Blog Categories