Group of 16 young people band together in Shelby Township to help those struggling with depression

It was more than two decades ago when Dennis Liegghio lost his dad.

He was a teenager when his dad died of suicide in 1991. The incident sent Liegghio to a dark place.

"I didn't know how to deal with it, so I got lost for a while and struggled with my own depression, thoughts of suicide," he said, "and eventually it was music that became my way out."

He wrote a song about the path he took following his father's death, later performing it. For Liegghio, music was an outlet that could help bridge someone from a world of depression to something brighter in a way other forms of communication couldn't.

"You can say things through art, photography, painting, music, poetry, dance that maybe you can't say through words," he said.

Those various forms of expression have found a home at The Shed in Shelby Township. Home to the initiative "Know Resolve" which Liegghio started, it welcomes anyone struggling with depression - whose situation might look a little like the one Liegghio found himself in years ago.

While Liegghio is part of the group, much of the conversation and expression also comes from 16 young people who congregate at The Shed. There, a sort-of communal therapy takes over, assisting any and all in need of help.

"The happiest person you know can be the most depressed person you never would think of," said Devon McNair. "Some people have to hide behind a smile."

McNair is one of the members helping bust the stigma of depression. Another is Haley, who put on a rendition of Halo by Beyoncé on Monday. 

"When someone thinks of someone that is depressed, it's usually somebody who wears black or is constantly not talking," said Adalyna Mislevi. "It's not always like that. A person can feel and look happy but it's usually just a cover for their deep down emotions that they might be scared to share."

While The Shed is now open, it's grand opening won't be until this fall. 

"Someplace for them to go to connect with each other, real, face-to-face and build these connections and maybe gain a sense of purpose and explore the arts, I just thought it was important and I didn't think anything like this existed around here." said Liegghio.


If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text 741-741.