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Event Review | Workshop on Depression for Teenagers with Elite Scholars of China.

Depression in China among teenage students has worsened, given the increasing competition of academic achievement, and the impact of China’s fast development on Chinese traditional value for students from well off families.

On June 18th, 2016 CandleX held a depression workshop for Elite Scholars of China (ESC). Elite Scholars of China aims to educate China’s top high school students about their undergraduate options in the United States. The students who attended the presentation recently graduated from high school and all will be moving abroad to the United States to attend college in the fall.

Our CandleX Technical Advisor, Melena Slaven, M.A., conducted the presentation. Melena is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Certified National Counselor.

The presentation included a 90-minute multi-media and interactive workshop followed by a Q&A session. The goal was to inform the students about depression, suicide, and to promote self-care, as the students will be moving into a high pressure environment in a new culture. Students were encouraged to be aware of the symptoms of depression in themselves and fellow peers and were taught how to respond when they see the signs. This workshop contributes to Candlex’s goal to improve the mental health in China.

Melena covered the prevalence of depression and suicide in college students. Surprisingly, 36.4% of college students reported they experienced some level of depression in 2013. (Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors) and depression is the number one reason students drop out of school. If left untreated, depression could lead to other symptoms/problems or suicide. Statistics show that 10% of college students have thought about or made a plan to commit suicide. There are over 1,000 suicidal deaths on college campuses in the U.S. every year, as reported by Emory University. Most importantly, students were encouraged to seek out help from their campus mental health center and to not feel shame for reaching out for help.

Depression is a serious issue, but we don’t have to treat talking about it as if it is the plague. CandleX’s workshops all take an easy to digest approach by using role play, multi-media, group work and reflecting exercises. Afterwards, Melena was very happy to receive positive feedback from the students. Students reported being very thankful to receive the information. Some students reported that the presentation was “inspirational!” CandleX hopes that this presentation will become an annual event for agencies and schools that work with students.

The small steps we take build our resilience against mental illness as well as reduce the stigma to discussing it and seeking help when necessary.

Still, 350 million people in the world suffer from depression (for more info on depression statistics, please go to Candlex Classroom). That means you probably know someone who is currently suffering or has suffered in the past. However, you may not know who this person is. It can be your friend, colleague, or even a family member. We want to tell those that have depression that there is help in Beijing and to inform those who don’t have depression how they can help.

If you think your workplace, school, or organization could benefit from a workshop such as this one, email us at

When we start to talk about depression we start to heal.

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