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Are You Aware? You Should Be.

September was Suicide Awareness Month. October is Domestic Awareness Month.

In high school, I struggled with depression. It happens more frequently than you think, and I for one had no idea that it could happen to me. Mental health was one of those taboo topics in my family. Even if you weren’t okay, it wasn’t common to speak on it. The pressure put on me to be mentally strong was high. I don’t blame my family at all. They were simply not educated in the matter to understand what was going on with me or even to notice. What I came to realize later in life was just how long it took for one individual to speak up and help me identify that something was wrong and that I needed to take extra steps to seek help. Four months. I was depressed and hurting on the inside for four months before that conversation took place.

Montgomery College is a college that wants the best for their students, academically and personally. With that stated, I wanted to share with you some of the signs to look for if someone is depressed or suicidal and what to check for if you are worried that a friend, peer or student is being abused and how our school is taking initiative to give resources and educate.

Signs That Someone May Be Suffering From Depression

  1. Change in mood and personality
  2. Loss of interest in things one use to care about
  3. Fatigue
  4. Reckless endangerment
  5. Often making commentary of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness
  6. Change in appetite or weight loss
  7. Withdrawal
  8. Decreased concentration
  9. Grades falling

Signs That Someone You Know Is Being Abused

  1. Change in mood and personality
  2. Sudden isolation
  3. Frequent injuries with excuses that may not add up
  4. Injuries that align with punching or chocking
  5. Attempting to cover up (wearing longer or more clothing, wearing makeup, etc.)


Montgomery College Counseling Services provides the nearest resources for you or anyone you may know who struggles with these issues.

This link provides a list comprised of crisis hotlines for Montgomery County which can be found on our very own school website:

In addition to this, Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus will be hosting its Mental Health Fair on October 31st where students and faculty can come to be further educated.

Finally, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will be hosting its annual Out of the Darkness Walks in Montgomery County on October 22, 2017. To learn more about this event and to register please click the following link:

I for one will be there!


Friends, I urge you all to educate yourselves on depression, abuse and the signs. Montgomery College is not just a community, but we are a family. Families look out for one another.

Don’t let four months go by before realizing a friend is hurting.

Let’s be aware.



Naomi Graham-Stanford

I am currently 21 years old and a born and raised (and proud) Washingtonian. My parents both came to the United States as foreigners from Panamá City, Panamá so I ethnically (and also proudly) identify as Latin-Caribbean. I am in my second semester at Montgomery College at the Takoma Park Silver Spring campus. I plan to obtain my associates in Business Administration and go on to complete my bachelors at Howard University with a double major in Business Marketing and Computer Information Systems. In addition to being a super involved student of Montgomery College, I am also a supermom to the most amazing 3 year old girl on the planet. My ultimate goal in life is to become an internationally renowned event planning mogul.

I originally began writing at the tender age of eight. Back when I thought I was destined to be the next Beyoncé, I would write songs with friends and rehearse and perform them in elementary school. Around middle school, I matured and my writing did as well. I took on poetry as a hobby and later it would bring me Literary Love Poetry Awards that I still have medals for to this day. As I excelled into high school, I didn’t realize how much the assigned papers and controversial group discussions would shape me as the “realist” writer that I am today. I know Montgomery College has the power to take my writing skills to the next level, starting with this blog.

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