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Marlin Collingwood, Executive Director, Families for Depression AwarenessWith one month as Executive Director of Families for Depression Awareness behind me, it’s even more evident to me that this organization is doing important, life-changing, and life-saving work.

Marlin Collingwood, FFDA with Commissioner Arthur Evans, Philadelphia at The Kennedy Forum

FFDA Executive Director Marlin Collingwood with Arthur C. Evans, Ph.D., Commissioner, Department of Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Philadelphia

Families for Depression Awareness was again well represented at The Kennedy Forum conference, held on June 9th in Boston. Executive Director Marlin Collingwood and Director of Programs and Marketing Susan Weinstein engaged in learning, dialogue, and networking with policymakers, educators, researchers, advocates, business leaders, providers, and people with the lived experience of mental health and substance use disorders. The Kennedy Forum event sought to advance critical discussions about the science, practice, financing, and delivery of care and services. In addition, as conference attendees Marlin and Susan were able to participate in discussions examining the future of mental health in this nation and abroad.

Lindner Center of HopeThis year, we have been fortunate to receive sponsorship support from Lindner Center of HOPE, a nonprofit mental health center in Mason, Ohio. We are pleased to be partnering with an organization that is truly making a difference in the lives of individuals and families and bringing hope to so many who are struggling.

Coping with Stress Workshop

Our winter and spring calendars have been full of in-person trainings!

Just this month alone, we’ve been on the road from Malden to South Dennis, meeting with professionals, parents, community leaders, and teenagers.


courtney headWe’ve had a busy couple of months and wouldn’t have been nearly as productive without the help of our amazing intern, Courtney! Here’s what she says about her time at the FFDA office.

Over the past several weeks, I have been working at Families for Depression Awareness, a national non-profit organization based in Waltham. The mission of the organization is to prevent suicide and help people with depression and bipolar disorder, as well as their families, find support and coping solutions. There are a variety of components that go into making a small organization work. Everyone has a role, and every role intertwines sometimes.

childrens-mental-health-awareness-day-2015-web-banner-200x200Do you care about children’s mental health? On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Families for Depression Awareness will join other nonprofit organizations and 1,100 communities across the country in celebrating National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to bring attention to the importance of positive mental health from birth. 


May is Mental Health Month! It is a time for action and also a time to be supportive of the people in your life who live with depression and bipolar disorder.

Some things you can do to get involved with mental health awareness this month are:

mom and daughterWhy do teens do the things they do? Most parents or youth workers have asked this question. Here’s one possible answer: their brains are still growing and changing every day! 

Although it has long been thought that brains were fully developed and IQ’s were set in young childhood, more recent research has shown that brain growth actually continues throughout adolescence and even into young adulthood. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that control impulse and judgment. During the teen years the prefrontal cortex isn’t fully connect to the part of the brain that seeks pleasure and reward. Understanding that missing link certainly sheds light on the question of why teens do the things they do!

teen computerIt’s no surprise to hear that teens and young adults spend a lot of time communicating with their friends through social media. But you may be surprised to hear that 25% of them talk about their depression on social media.

Although personal mental illness has been seen as a taboo topic to discuss with peers, recent research on social media profiles has provided some evidence that the subject of one’s depression is no longer off limits, at least as far as young adults are concerned in their online interactions.

writinglistDoes how you cope with stress before it happens influence the way you feel afterward?

When you know that a stressful event is coming, such as a big presentation at work or an interview, how do you cope? Whether you’re a fantasizer who imagines the problem just going away on its own, or a pragmatic thinker who brainstorms steps to take to address the issue, these approaches do influence how you feel once the stressful event passes.


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If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 800-273-TALK or 911 immediately. For crisis support via text message, text LISTEN to 741741.