Shaun is a 16 year old junior year of high school at Woodburn Sr. High. Shaun lives with his family which includes mom Teresa, dad Kendal, his brothers Kenneth, Daniel and Todd, and his sister Melody.
Two years ago, the Jame's family went through a very difficult time when Shaun's older brother Darryll was hit by a car and killed. While the family grieved for their loss of Darryll, they lean on family and friends to help them cope. Shaun, however, became extremely withdrawn, refusing to speak with anyone about his feelings.
Before Darryll's death, Shaun had been outgoing, fun to be around and a straight "A" student. He had a lot of friends, including his best friend, Billy Tyler. Billy and Shaun were always the life of the party and would keep everyone laughing when they were together.
By the end of Shaun's sophomore year, things were changing. Shaun isolated himself from his friends and family and started refusing phone calls, even from Billy. When his buddies came by during the weekend or after school, Shaun would hide in his room and have Melody tell them he was sick. Shaun remembers, "I felt so tired. All I wanted to do was sleep or watch TV. Things that used to be fun didn't interest me anymore. I didn't want to see anyone. All I kept thinking was 'why can't they leave me alone?!' This went on for a couple of months."
Shaun missed a lot of school and his grades started to slip. His parents were concerned, but thought that he would "snap out of it." But Shaun didn't "snap out of it." Eventually, he wanted to be alone all the time and wouldn't speak to anyone. When he did speak, he was usually yelling. Things had gotten really bad with Shaun. When he saw a public service announcement for the Mental Health Association that showed a hotline number, he knew that was what he needed. Shaun talked to his parents and, together, they decided to call the hotline. The counselor referred Shaun to Cleary Street Mental Health Center. This was a place he could go and talk to someone about how he was feeling.
Shaun says, "That one phone call helped me get better." After going to a Mental Health professional, and getting evaluated, Shaun was diagnosed with having clinical depression. According to Shaun, "I am feeling a lot better than I did and some days I feel pretty good. Now I know that if a person is feeling sad or angry or even numb for a really long time-and those feelings won't go away-then he or she needs to reach out and talk to someone. I'm glad I decided to get help."