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Meet the Adorable Winner of the 2023 Defeat Depression National Mascot Challenge


We are thrilled to announce the winner of the 2023 Defeat Depression National Mascot Challenge! After receiving numerous submissions from all over the country, we're delighted to introduce you to our adorable new mascot – a 5-month-old Shih Tzu named Santiago, owned by Kelly Ruscheinsky.


Santiago captured our hearts with his irresistible charm. As our National Mascot, he'll be a beacon of hope and joy, bringing attention to the importance of mental health awareness and support. Santiago's presence is sure to make a lasting impact on our Defeat Depression community and inspire those participating in the Defeat Depression events.


Kelly Ruscheinsky, Santiago's proud owner, will receive a Defeat Depression T-shirt and a custom bandana for Santiago as a token of our appreciation for participating in the challenge. We can't wait to see them both proudly wearing their Defeat Depression gear, spreading the message of hope and unity in our fight against mental health stigma.


The Defeat Depression National Mascot Challenge has been an exciting and engaging way to involve our community in the lead-up to our annual events. We are incredibly grateful for all the participants who shared their beloved pets with us and for the overwhelming support we've received!


As we continue our mission to raise awareness and funds for mental health programs, resources, and services, we are confident that Santiago, our 2023 National Mascot, will be an amazing ambassador for the cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues and create a more compassionate, understanding, and supportive society.


Stay tuned for more updates on our Defeat Depression events and initiatives, and don't forget to join us in our efforts to make a positive impact on mental health awareness across the country.



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