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Julie Totten and Patrick KennedyOn October 24th, mental health advocates, thought leaders, and policymakers gathered in Boston to participate in The Kennedy Forum Inaugural Conference, convened to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's signing of the Community Mental Health Act, and engage in dialogue and planning for next steps for public policy.

Julie Totten, President and Founder of Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) (pictured with former Rep. Patrick Kennedy), and FFDA's Director of Programs and Marketing, Susan Weinstein, attended to represent the interests of families in the advocacy arena. Prior to the conference, Weinstein remarked, "We are excited to be participating in The Kennedy Forum!" 


alexandra_styronWhen Alexandra Styron went on a book tour to promote her memoir, she was often asked, "How does your mother feel about you telling this story?" In the fourth installment of our video series, Alexandra tackles the tough issue of sharing your family story of depression with integrity and generosity.

CFYM LogoHelp Shape the Future of Mental Health Care

Care for Your Mind helps you and clinicians to become better advocates, according to an article in the online Psychiatric News. Care for Your Mind, a collaboration of Families for Depression Awareness and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, provides a forum for people with mood disorders and their families to engage with clinicians, advocates, policymakers, and interest groups to discuss public policy and the impacts of health care reform and government policy. Care for Your Mind is about how Washington, DC, and the actions in the state capitals affects our lives, as people with mood disorders and their families.

sunset_hugWe were recently made aware of two teen suicides in a city near our headquarters in Waltham, MA. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those two teens. When coping with a tragedy such as a suicide, it is important to stick together as a family. Here's a reminder of the actions families can take.

alexandra_styronNow you have written your family story of depression, exploring all of the memories and experiences associated with that unique past. You've even found a way to publish your story to reach a wider audience. The question becomes--should you let your employer know? Alexandra Styron addresses this question in the 3rd installment of our video series. Find out why she says "honesty is the best policy."

girl_drinkingTeens with bipolar disorder face a number of challenges--misdiagnosis, impulsive behaviors, rapid mood changes, risk-taking. Now a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has shown that 1 in 3 teens with bipolar disorder will develop substance abuse problems.

alexandra_styronHave you ever thought about telling your family story of depression or bipolar disorder, but didn't know where to start? In the 2nd installment of the series, Alexandra talks about whether or not there are rules to follow when writing your personal story. She also shares the most important thing that all new writers should do.

healthy_foodDid you see the recent news that getting up, moving around, and eating a healthy diet all help mental health? And that men and women are equally likely to have depression?

alexandra_styronHave you ever thought about telling your family story of depression or bipolar disorder, but didn't know where to start? Alexandra Styron, daughter of author William Styron (Sophie's Choice, 1979) is collaborating with Families for Depression Awareness on a how-to video series, explaining the steps to writing your family story of depression.

Families for Depression Awareness is developing a new Care Consultation Service for families needing guidance to help a loved one. We're looking to engage an experienced social worker to help us set up the program. If you're interested in the position, download the job description. Stay tuned as we share more about this exciting new program!


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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.