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If a person breaks their arm, the public can see a cast.  But, if a person suffers from mental illness, the public has nothing physical to view.  It is this lack of visible suffering that I believe is a chief cause for the profound stigma against mental illness.

I am supporting Strides Against Stigma in honor of my brother, Brian. Brian suffered from depression starting in his early teens.  He attempted suicide at the age of 15 and was successful at the age of 20.

D._PatrickFirst Lady of Massachusetts Diane Patrick Honored by Families for Depression Awareness

 Mrs. Patrick will accept a mental health advocacy award at Strides Against Stigma walk-a-thon, April 28, 2012

Families for Depression Awareness ("FFDA") is proud to announce that Diane Patrick, Esq., First Lady of Massachusetts, will receive the organization's first-ever Distinguished Service in Mental Health Advocacy Award.  FFDA established the award to honor an individual who has gone to extraordinary efforts to heighten public awareness of depressive disorders, empower families in need to seek treatment, and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness.


A recent article reports researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL found that lung cancer patients may experience increased rates of depression because of the sense of “social rejection, internalized shame and social isolation” associated with the disease.

dans grad2-1Upon hearing fellow Strides Against Stigma supporter, 19-year-old Jordon Edwards’ fundraising goal of $2000, Dan Fields, 47, rose to the occasion saying, “Hey, if she can do it, I can too!”

signing peopleA recent HealthDay article addresses the challenges facing the hearing impaired in accessing quality mental health services.  Those with hearing impairment are about two times as likely as the general population to have mental health problems, yet they have greater difficulty obtaining mental health care.


In the United States, 17 percent of college women and 12 percent of college men struggle with depression. The pressure to achieve and stress of additional responsibilities can often take a toll on students' mental health.  There are also students entering college who have already experienced depressive disorders.

Parents and youth ages 11-14 can earn $300 for testing an online depression prevention program. To find out more and see if you might be qualified, go to:

kim_and_dogsI have discovered how difficult it is to start over.  I remember feeling so excited and adventurous when I first moved to Boston for school and that I acclimated almost immediately. Then again, I had to live on campus with others going through exactly the same thing and I was fortunate to have a roommate from the same area I lived in growing up.

It was different when my husband and I moved 3,000 miles cross country with no solid landing ground on the other end-– no job, barely anyone I knew, no established community of any sort. It felt isolating.


I am one of millions who watched this year’s Super Bowl.  I was bummed by “my” team, the Patriots, not winning; but, both games and life are matters of win-some-lose-some situations.

ruralA 2005 study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health reported that as much as 40% of rural women had depression compared to 13-20% of urban women. With such a high population of women experiencing depression, the hope is that mental health care services would be abundant in these areas.  A recent Twin Cities Daily Planet article, however, examines the truth of service availabilities.


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.