Atlee DECA Pledges to End the Stigma on Teenage Depression

Caton Owens, Logan Christian, Grace Skelton, and Mackenzie Ward (from left to right) with their “Pledge to be Stigma Free” banner at Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, Va.

Three members of Atlee DECA, Caton Owens, Logan Christian, and Mackenzie Ward, used their creative marketing plan to raise awareness for a local cause and worldwide struggle.

Owens, Christian and Ward have partnered with the Cameron Gallagher Foundation, located in Richmond, Va., to end the stigma associated with teenage anxiety and depression.

The Cameron Gallagher Foundation was founded by Cameron’s parents. Cameron Gallagher was only 16 years old when her life was taken at the end of a half-marathon due to an undiagnosed heart condition.

Gallagher’s parents found plans in her room for a 5K to raise awareness for teenage depression and decided to carry out Cameron’s dream. The Gallagher’s Speak Up 5k is now a well-known half-marathon in the Richmond area. This year’s race was on September 10, 2016, and Atlee DECA had 12 members volunteer.stigma

To continue to raise awareness for the stigma involved with teenage depression, Christian, Owens, and Ward had a table with mental health awareness information, Cameron Gallagher Foundation bracelets, and a banner to pledge to end the stigma of teenage depression.

The table was open during all three lunches on Wednesday, October 5, during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Students at Atlee High School were encouraged to wear green in honor of the Cameron Gallagher Foundation and to sign the stigma free banner at their lunches.

Christian, Owens, and Ward all agreed that the day went well and are pleasantly surprised with the attention that Mental Health Awareness received from their table.

Visit for more information on the Cameron Gallagher Foundation and the Speak Up 5K.

SMC_Lainey_MountjoyThis article was written by Atlee DECA Secretary, Lainey Mountjoy. You can follow Atlee DECA on Twitter @ATLDECA.

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