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!

Phase 2 of our building Renovations

May 25, 2021

The Yunion is excited to announce we are moving into Phase 2 of our building renovations. In Phase 2 we will be renovating the 2nd floor which will be utilized as program space for the youth and families we serve. We want to thank The…

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The Keys 2 Life Performing Arts Summer Camp today

May 24, 2021

Hey we’re just checking in to let you know spots are filling fast! Register your child for The Keys 2 Life Performing Arts Summer Camp today. You won’t regret it— Just ask our Keys 2 Life Alumni Keys2lifesummercamp.

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Supporting Black-Led Nonprofits

May 23, 2021

Join our Executive Director Nicole Wilson on Wednesday, June 23 as she speaks with Allandra Bulger of Co.act Detroit, Shawn H. Wilson of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, and Terry Whitfield of The Skillman Foundation about supporting Black-led nonprofits. Learn more and register…

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Parents! This is For You

May 21, 2021

Parents! Have you registered your child for the Yunion’s Keys 2 Life Performing Arts Summer yet? If so, great job mom and or dad your child will love and appreciate you for it. If not, what are you waiting for? Slots are filling up fast,…

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The Bullying Prevention

May 20, 2021

The Yunion in partnership with TBOP productions has produced another film to assist our young people in their journey through adolescence. This film focuses on the effects of bullying and will be used as a bullying prevention tool. This past weekend we finished filming and…

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Parents did you know?

May 19, 2021

Parents, did you know? Roughly 1-in-4 girls will be pregnant at least once before age 20. The U.S. teen birth rate is at an all-time low. As of 2016, the teen birth rate (20.3 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-to-19) declined 67 percent since its…

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The Yunion Student Highlight of the month

May 18, 2021

Yunion Student Highlight of the month: Robert M. is this month’s Yunion student of the of month. Robert is a participant in Our Partner program JOURNi More Than Code Program. Hear what are staff has to say about Robert’s Progress in our program. “He is…

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The Performing Arts Summer Camp

May 17, 2021

Parents meet our Keys 2 Life Performing Arts Summer Camp Director Mr. Darell Red Campbell Jr. (Known to kids as Mr. Red). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Red is a platinum, stellar-award winning producer, musician, and teacher with a heart for empowering people to find hidden talent and potential…

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Keys To Life Performing Arts

May 14, 2021

Parents meet Selah. Selah was a first-time Keys 2 Life Performing Arts camper last year. This is what she had to say about her experience. “Even though it was virtual it was still fun. My favorite class was SWAG (Students With Awareness & Goals) because…

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Friday Yunion Parent Check-in

May 14, 2021

Friday Yunion Parent Check-in Camp registration is open!

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May 13, 2021

Parents see what one of our Keys 2 Life Sponsors (Max & Marjorie Fisher Foundation) had to say about our last year’s summer camp. At The Yunion’s “Keys 2 Life” summer camp program, Detroit youth spent their long, warm days engaged in performing arts activities…

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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…

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Friday Yunion Parent Check in

May 12, 2021
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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…

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Happy Mother’s Day

May 9, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms.

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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…

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