BRIGHTON — David Derouen Jr., is working to turn a negative life experience into a positive one. Darouen, a junior at Brighton High School, recently learned he has a mood disorder and now wants to help others who might be afraid to ask for help or not know how.
“I’ve been dealing with depression for quite a few years now and it’s something that (had) been getting progressively worse. A few months ago, I was sent to a mental health facility for suicidal ideation because I went to the school for help that was what their ruling was,” he said, adding that he was sent to Platte Valley Medical Center for treatment and then to Highlands Behavioral Health System.
Derouen said the experience made him feel like he was pushed along by the different organizations to the direction they thought was best. After spending a week at Highlands, Darouen said coming home, seeing how many people were actually there for him, who cared and who were willing to help, really made an impression on him.
“A few weeks after that I stayed up one night…I thought to myself, why should other people have to go through this, experience all of this and not know until after the fact, if they make it through all of this, that help is simply a question away? So I set out to start (Project Help Me) in order to teach people that if they need help, there are people out there willing to help, all you have to do is ask,” he said.
Project Help Me, is an organization currently in its beginning stages, that Derouen would like to see help students dealing with depression and make them aware of the help available to them. He said the organization would work towards the common goal that no one ever gets to the point that they have to go to a mental institution.
According to Derouen, a Facebook page was started to initially see how people would react to the project and he said so far individuals on Facebok have been quite accepting of it.
“It’s gone better than I thought it would have so that’s good but I’d like to expand it to become a ‘physical being’ outside of the internet to maybe have a pact with the school, to work alongside them, like the yellow ribbon association,” he said.
Derouen is currently working with the school to try to get Project Help Me going there. Principal John Biner said he, along with school staff, are supportive of the project but that the subject matter needs to be presented “in the right fashion.” He believes that with a little more leg work and some mental health professionals who are willing to support Project Help Me, the organization will certainly be something to consider for the school.
For more information on Project Help Me visit Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ProjectHelpMe or email David Derouen, Jr at email@example.com.