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Thanksgiving Back 2013-2014 - Decoding the Duck Syndrome: Creative Approaches to Adolescent Mental Health

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Decoding the Duck Syndrome: Creative Approaches to Adolescent Mental Health
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Bay Area, CA
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“Some seek the comfort of their therapist's office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.” - Dean Karnazes

The Duck Syndrome--floating serenely on the water while frantically paddling beneath the surface--often comes up when discussing the stress of being a student at Stanford. However, mental health issues are present in the lives of adolescents everywhere, whether in elite universities or underprivileged communities. We want to break open the conversation surrounding the Duck Syndrome by exploring creative arts therapy and other non-traditional approaches. During the workshops, we will examine the institutional influences on how society frames the adolescent struggle with mental health. On the trip, we will visit local community partners who specialize in anything from music to individualized alternative education. This trip is an opportunity for students to discuss a heavily stigmatized subject and support their peers through initiatives beyond the traditional framework of adolescent mental health. We hope to give participants a basic understanding of sociological influences on adolescent mental health, strategies on navigating the difficult conversations surrounding this topic, and exposure to creative therapies. No prior knowledge or experience necessary (other than 4 years of Mandarin or advanced training in designing LEED Platinum buildings).

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