We’re just a few weeks into 2016 and we’ve already seen several noteworthy stories in the field of mental health and wellness.
This week, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued important guidelines recommending pre- and post-partum depression screenings in the United States. These new guidelines will assist in addressing the growing issue of depression in pregnant women and new mothers. This coincides with an upcoming series on maternal mental health on our advocacy blog, Care for Your Mind. Watch for several stories, beginning on February 16, and join the conversation.
I have always loved language, and I wholeheartedly believe in the power of adjectives. They capture emotion like nothing else. Even so, though, few words show just how crippling depression really is. To be sure, “difficult” is a gross understatement.
I’m a senior in high school, and I have big plans. College, work, independence—the typical goals, I suppose, of an American teenager. People tell me that I’m going places, that my generation is destined to do amazing things. To many, that’s encouragement. To me, that’s pressure.
As we are moving into 2016, a lot of folks are making resolutions for the year ahead. Lose weight, quit smoking, join a gym, eat healthier are all typical items on the resolution list – the focus tends to be on making our physical health better over the next 366 days. (We get an extra day to do good things for ourselves next year!)
Combined Effort Brings Mental Health and Addiction Issues to the Forefront
Families for Depression Awareness proudly announces our official affiliation with the NOW Campaign, a national movement to make addressing mental health and addiction one of the top priorities in politics, policy, and business. With the approaching presidential election year, FFDA agrees that now is the time to build this grassroots movement to drive solutions to the problems in our systems of care for mental health and addiction.
December 2015 marks my sixth month at Families for Depression Awareness. I’ve learned a great deal about this organization and the work we do everyday. I’ve met families who are utilizing our resources and services to help their loved ones dealing with depression or bipolar disorder and, in turn, helping other families.
Marlin Collingwood with Chris Kelley, Winchester High School Principal
This year, the Winchester (MA) Public Schools developed district-wide improvement goals, one of which is to “build a strong and effective system of supports and interventions to ensure that all students’ social-emotional and mental heath needs are met.” Several folks from Winchester invited us to bring our Teen Depression programming into their community.
Follow the easy steps below to support Families for Depression Awareness throughout the year. Everyone who sets up a recurring monthly donation by December 31, 2015 will be entered to win an all new 6" Kindle Paperwhite! The winner will be chosen by January 6, 2016. READ KINDLE GIVEAWAY TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
Step 1: First, decide how much you want to give on a monthly basis. (Setup requires your first month's donation.)
Step 3: Under "Donation Amount," enter the amount of money you want to give each month.
Every year since 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General has declared that Thanksgiving is also National Family History Day. Both on Thanksgiving and on other occasions that families gather, Americans should talk about – and write down – the health problems that seem to run in their families. Because knowing about health issues is critical for prevention measures and timely intervention, learning about our families’ health history may help ensure a longer, healthier future together.
At Families for Depression Awareness, we couldn’t agree more! Mental health conditions often run in families, so having greater knowledge of your own family history may provide you with a better understanding of your own mental health. It may also give you a good sense of what to look for in your relatives, including your children, so you can help. Just as significantly, when you communicate openly with your family about mental health, the opportunities for support and stability greatly increase.
Take some time this week to explore your family’s mental health history and open the lines of communication with your loved ones. Here are some practical things you can do:
Photo credit: David Lee, rights reserved
From Marlin Collingwood
When my husband Gary died by suicide in May 2014, he wrote in his letter to me that he didn’t do this to cause anyone else pain, but to end his own.
But suicide leaves horrible exit wounds for those of us left behind.
The days, weeks, and months after you lose someone you love to suicide are filled with so many emotions: confusion, heartbreak, rage, loneliness, grief, despair, relief – the list goes on and on.
It’s a club I never thought I’d be a member of and some days it still seems unreal that I’m in it. Unfortunately, it’s a club that’s been around since the beginning of time and whose membership continues to grow everyday.
I’m talking about the Suicide Loss Survivors club.
While of course it’s not an actual club, those of us who belong can usually spot each other from afar. Our stories are all unique and different, but the end result is the same: we lost someone we love to suicide and the pain is with us every day.