By Natasha McLane
Aevidum’s Color Blast 5k on October 4 was, as the name suggests, an absolute blast. The 5k isn’t the only event students have to look forward to, as there is plenty more to come.
For those who don’t know, “Aevidum is a student-based support group that brings awareness of and support for mental health awareness and suicide prevention,” said Mrs. Andrea Rohrbaugh, co-adviser of the Red Lion Aevidum club.
According to Teenmentalhealth.org, 1 in 5 teenagers have a mental illness. This ranges from depression and anxiety, to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and even anorexia. Sadly, suicide is the third 3rd leading cause of death in ages 14-24 years old. The impact of a mental illness is devastating.
In 2004, a teenager in Lititz, Pennsylvania and student at Cocalico High School committed suicide. In this tragic event, Aevidum was formed by high schoolers at Cocalico and teacher/Executive Director Joe Vulopas and is now taking storm across the nation. “Even when we’re faced with the deepest and darkest tragedies, there is always learning, there is always something good that can come of it,” said Dr. Brenda Becker, Superintendent of LItitz Area Schools.
In 2014, Red Lion launched the start of Aevidum. Starting this year Aevidum plans to have lessons during Academic Prep period. Aevidum will also make the school more aware of depression and prevention of suicide along with always keeping the door open for those who need a hand. Hence the term, “I’ve Got Your Back.”
This year alone, numerous students have already reached out to Aevidum. One who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts should not be ashamed. “Our society tends to shame or ignore those with mental illnesses, and I want to change that,” said singer-songwriter, and activist Demi Lovato. This is exactly what Aevidum does, brings support and awareness.
Those that struggle on a day-to-day basis should know they are not alone, and that it is “Okay to talk about,” said Andrea Rohrbaugh.