Addressing Adolescent Mental Health: Peds Club Connects with Local Schools

MS-III Andrew Brackins and MS-II Meaghan Nazareth led the Campbell Medicine Pediatrics Interest Group (aka Peds Club) in responding to the call for a national response to pediatric mental health – specifically in adolescent patients.  Here, they share the details of the project and the hoped for impact.

Introduce the project and how it was inspired.
Each year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) selects one area of pediatric well-being to be the focus of an advocacy campaign. This year’s topic is Pediatric Mental Health, and each chapter of the AAP was tasked with creating their own project to highlight the importance of Pediatric Mental Healthcare.  As our club’s AAP National Representatives, we sought the counsel of the Harnett County School’s mental health specialists and determined we would create a series of videos discussing various behavioral health issues. These short videos could then be shared with Harnett County middle and high students.

What are the key components of the project and who was involved?
Ultimately, four videos were scripted, prepared, and filmed by members of the Pediatric Interest Group with supervision from our advisor, Dr. Stephen DeMeo. These videos cover symptoms, personal stories, and advice on how to overcome topics like depression, eating disorders, imposter syndrome, and anxiety. Medical students chose topics that had personally affected them with the hope middle and high school age students would understand they aren’t alone in struggling with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or any of the other topics discussed. A huge thanks to the following Campbell Student Doctors for their contribution to the creation of the videos, as well as the Campbell Video Production team:  Medical Students – Hannah Agnew, Kara Brads, Taylor Coles, Karlye Denner, Diana Ivancev, Matthew Maffey, Ben Legere, Matthew Lucito, Robyn Narron, Madeline Walker; Video Production – Charles Phillips and Samantha Steichen

How did you connect with Harnett County Schools and how will their students be involved?
We reached out to the Harnett County School System Student Support Services team of Mental Health Specialists – specifically, Jessalyn Pedone and Brittny Gainey and School Counseling Services Director Lauren Cappola.  The goal is for the videos to be shared via Harnett County Schools messaging pathways this fall.

Where can the videos be found and are there additional resources you recommend for teens and their parents?
Videos can be found together in a playlist on the Campbell Medicine YouTube channel, and the AAP has several great resources for families which can be found here