Wake Forest High School, Wake Forest, North Carolina

On December 8, 2016 David Binanay was given the opportunity to speak for a group of 200+ high school students regarding mental illness and the stigma surrounding it. The students enjoyed the talk so much, that David was featured in the Wake Forest Gazette, in an article titled "Students Combat Mental Illness Stigma." The article is below:

Students combat mental illness stigma

DECEMBER 14, 2016

Wake Forest High School’s DECA chapter is proud to announce that it has initiated a grassroots campaign, “Stand Against the Stigma” (SAS). The goal of the campaign is to generate a more supportive and understanding community by redefining mental illness, educating the population of the school and surrounding area, and dispelling negative and false beliefs about mental illness and its treatment.

To accomplish this goal, founders, Caroline Roach and Jake Petrillo, have hosted a variety of events to engage the school and community in their cause. Events include performances by guest speakers, information booths at football games, and an Anti-Stigma week. Furthermore, the campaign has created a SAS club to make a lasting impression now and for years to come.

Guest speakers from Music Over Mind, an organization dedicated to healing mental illness through the power of music, came to Wake Forest High School on Thursday, Dec 8thto speak to classes. They played the guitar and violin as well as gave an account of their experience with mental illness and the stigma surrounding it. This was the first event of many that has been planned.

The objectives of the campaign are to:

– Raise awareness of mental illness within Wake Forest High School

– Inspire students to reconsider their perception of mental illness

– Encourage parents to engage in dialogue that can help support the mental well being of their children

– Educate teachers on how to identify the signs of mental health issues and how to be an outlet for struggling students

– Empower those who suffer by making mental illness a more comfortable topic.

(DECA is a nonprofit with chapters on college campuses and in more than 3,500 high schools which prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for college and careers.)