CHADS Changes Lives at LHS

Kelsey Foster, Staff Writer

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One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the 2nd highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, 2nd only to HIV/AIDS. Here at Lindbergh, it is important to bring awareness about mental health not only to educate students but to help them through their challenging times.

In April of 2004, Chad McCord, a high-school senior with a bright future, lost his battle with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and OCD, taking his own life just weeks before high school graduation. In 2005, Chad’s parents, Marian and Larry McCord, founded CHADS Coalition for Mental Health in memory of their son. CHADS is an acronym for Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide.

Annika Smith (12) was touched by this nonprofit  organization so much that she started up the student-led after school club, CHADS Ambassadors.

August of my sophomore year, I was sick of feeling isolated by my mental illnesses and wanted a safe place to talk about these things and feel less alone. I also wanted to make it less of a taboo subject because about one of every four people aren’t neurotypical, like me,” Smith said.

CHADS Ambassadors has been a cheerful, supportive family for the past two years. In CHADS, everyone discusses and educates themselves on mental health and coping strategies that could apply to themselves and the community. CHADS is responsible for some important events here at Lindbergh like De-Stress day, partaking in activities to reduce finals stress including: crafts, yoga, meditation, service dog petting, and other relaxing activities. The leaders and participants can confirm that CHADS has helped them tremendously.

CHADS has helped me become a more outgoing and caring person towards students at LHS. I’ve become someone people can come to if they have problems. I’ve grown mentally as a person through the club.Maria Harrison (12) said.

If anyone is interested in becoming apart of the club, CHADS meets every Thursday in the bubble office conference room after school. Contact Annika Smith (12), Anni Dineen (12), Camryn Kopp (11), or Emma Fore (11) through email for any additional questions.

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