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DECA stands against stigma

Austin Lee, Online Editor

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The DECA Chapter recently organized a campaign in effort to end the stigma revolving around mental health.

The stated goal of the project was to “educate, encourage and inspire others about mental health issues and treatments in an effort to end stigma and foster hope.”

Senior duo Jake Petrillo and Caroline Roach have teamed up to organize the event which they named “Stand against Stigma.” The campaign revolves around the topic of mental health issues and the stigma that society attaches to these issues.

“To us, this is a very important topic because it’s very close to heart, and we believe everyone is affected by mental health issues in some way whether they are aware of it or not,” Petrillo said.

Stand Against Stigma is a public relations campaign that takes on the challenges related to society’s predisposition on mental health issues. This campaign opened up a new club at the school where students can come together to address and fight the stigma against mental health issues.

To further the exposure of the campaign, Roach and Petrillo created multiple forms of advertisement including a poster with statistics in front of the school as well as an Instagram page.
This campaign is one of many projects and other campaigns that the DECA chapter has promoted. The hope of this campaign is to get students to understand the sadness and pain caused by stigma revolving around mental health.

“We chose to lead this campaign because we both have had family members and personal experiences regarding mental health issues, and we believe it’s a very taboo topic in society, and we want our message to be heard,” Petrillo said.

At the beginning of the year, Petrillo and Roach took a survey which led to the results of 1 in every 4 students saying that they personally have suffered from mental health issues.

DECA Advisor Kristi Walker plays a strong role in the creation of many projects, but this specific one, she gave the majority of the credit to the senior leadership of Petrillo and Roach.

“I didn’t do much honestly. Jake and Caroline knew they were working on a relations campaign, so at first they were just passing around ideas on topics to address,” Walker said. “When they chose mental health, I thought it was a great idea, and that they were the best choice to lead it.”

Petrillo, Roach and Walker all believe this campaign is not like others, but is a more sensitive and important topic that they feel strongly about.

“I think this project means a lot. It is definitely something I have seen firsthand with family members of friends I have, and there are just in general lots of people suffering from mental illness that aren’t able to talk about it due to fear of the stigma that society attaches to it,” Walker said. “If just one person changes their attitude or one person is helped, all the hard work will have been worth it.”

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DECA stands against stigma