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facebook_profile_pictureToday is National Depression Screening Day, a day to raise awareness of the importantce of recognizing symptoms of depression and getting proper screening and treatment.

We all have hard days, and sometimes it can be difficult to determine if day-to-day stress might be a sign of something more serious.

Boston skyline

Thank You to All Who Supported

"An Evening of Thanks"

Thank you to all our supporters and sponsors who helped to make "An Evening of Thanks" a success!

Our November 13th event in Boston brought together volunteers, board members, and other supporters to honor our teen speakers and celebrate the work of Families for Depression Awareness. The funds we raised through ticket sales, donations, and our silent auction support our efforts to help families with depression and bipolar disorder get well and prevent suicides.

facebook-miaw-badgeOne in five adults experience mental illness in a given year. Chances are you know someone who is struggling, whether outwardly or in silence, or someone who is working on getting well.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and we encourage you to help raise awareness. We hope to bring to light not only the realities of mental illness, but also the realities of wellness, and an understanding that with proper education and treatment, many people’s symptoms improve.

Here are some things you can do:


Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide, or approximately one death every 40 seconds. As many as 90% of suicides can be attributed to mental health conditions, which are mostly treatable.

You can help.

Families for Depression Awareness Teen Depression Workshop at Waltham Boys and Girls Club

The Waltham, MA Boys and Girls Club recently welcomed Families for Depression Awareness to present the Teen Depression workshop for its staff. Workers at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club have been aware that some of the kids experience depression, and they notice self-harm among their members. It's a timely topic, as some of the youth recently participated in a program that focused on suicide among teens.

Green Tribute Nail PolishWhen Carolyn Alderson, creator of Liquid Sky Lacquer nail polish, heard that Robin Williams died by suicide, she sprung into action.

Carolyn has dealt with depression in her own life and has lost family members to suicide. She decided to create a special line of nail polishes to honor his life and work.

robin_williams_2011a_2We are saddened by the death of actor Robin Williams. His death by suicide demonstrates that the pain of depression is very real and reminds us that we should be attentive to ourselves and to others. It's important to acknowledge that both bipolar disorder and depression are treatable illnesses and for the vast majority of people treatment is successful. Each of us needs to feel empowered to seek help when we are struggling and to support others in doing the same.

Event volunteer Valerie Cordero
The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN) was the "Charity of the Game" at the July 21st Nashville Sounds minor league baseball game. Valerie Cordero, Director of Development for Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA), participated in the event. Cordero and other volunteers distributed 500 bags containing information about mental health resources to basebal fans.

womanonphonePeople with bipolar disorder may soon be able to use their phones to track their moods, just by using their voices. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed and are testing a smartphone app called PRIORI that analyzes vocal changes in hopes of recognizing early warning signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder.


Teens struggling with depression are twice as likely as their peers to use marijuana, and marijuana use may double a teen's risk of developing depression. This is concerning because many individuals, both teens and adults, are turning to marijuana as a means of self-medicating depression. As the legalization of marijuana use has increased, so has the need for research around the effects of marijuana on brain development, brain functioning, and mental health. 


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.