“Remembering T.J. – A story of Teen Depression, Lessons and Hope” will be presented Monday, Sept.25, at 7 p.m. in the Montville Township High School auditorium. Montville Township parents and all students in grades 6 to 12 are encouraged to attend.
On Dec.1, 2010, 16-year-old T.J. Sefcik died by suicide. Sefcik was a cherished son, brother, friend, varsity athlete and honor student. In the days, weeks, and years that have followed, his family and his community have continued to ask: How could a boy with so much love and potential make this choice?
In the hopes of preventing other teens from following the same path, his parents, Wendy and Steve, and his 17-year-old brother, Matt, have created a presentation which shares Sefcik’s story of living with depression and offers perspectives on coping and opportunities for support.
Depression in teens is a common illness.
According to Director of School Counseling at Montville Township Public Schools, Leslee Scheckman, “1 in 8 teenagers experience some degree of depression. It is estimated that 20% of teens will suffer at least one depressive episode before reaching adulthood.”
The program will describe many of the red flags that are often dismissed as typical teenage behavior.
“The Sefcik’s story gives hope to teens who may be struggling and don’t know what to do with how they are feeling,” Scheckman explained. “It empowers teens to look outside themselves to their friends and classmates, and gives parents and guardians knowledge to help understand their teens a little better.”
All Montville Township parents and guardians, and all high school and middle school students (if age appropriate) are invited to join Montville Township Public Schools’ Student Assistance Counselors for an evening with Wendy, Steve and Matt Sefcik as they share their story about their son and brother T.J.
For more information about this program, contact the student assistance counselors at 973-331-7100: Carol Candelario (MTHS x2659), Catherine Lomauro (MTHS x2660), or Kelly McCorkle (Lazar x2338).