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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.

Care for Your Mind to fix the mental healthcare systemHave you had problems finding, using, or paying for mental healthcare? Have you had good experiences? Tell us!

Care for Your Mind educates people living with depression and bipolar disorder and their families and friends about issues in our mental healthcare system and efforts to make it better. Your story of interactions with clinicians, health insurance, hospitals, and others involved in mental healthcare is important!

stress female needs attributionNearly everyone experiences stress, but not everyone knows that emotional support really helps people deal with it! In fact, people who don’t have emotional support from family and friends report increases in stress and feelings of sadness or depression at a much higher rate than those with emotional support.

mlw-cover-only-e1418324577142On October 15, 2010, 15-year-old Will Trautwein took his life. Will was a good student, an athlete, a musician, and an incredibly loved brother, son, grandson, nephew, and friend. His family and friends were shocked by his death, as there did not appear to be any signs that he was struggling with anything like anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide.

ffda logo

Families for Depression Awareness is seeking a visionary, dynamic, collaborative leader who can lead the organization internally and can interact with donors, other organizations, and the media to achieve the FFDA goals and objectives.

Reports to the Board Chair and Board of Directors

Location: 395 Totten Pond Road, Suite 404, Waltham, MA 02451

Job Summary

The Executive Director is accountable for the strategic and operational success of Families for Depression Awareness by leading the organization, including the staff, board of directors, advisory board, and volunteers to achieve its mission.


Donate Now to Families for Depression Awareness


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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.