Mental health is just as real and important as physical health. That being said, there is still a stigma associated with mental health and reaching out for support. Along with many other mental illnesses, millions of people around the world suffer from depression. Globally, more than 264 million people suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. This is why it is so crucial to raise depression awareness. Maintaining good mental health is essential in order to function at the most basic level. The more people learn about and understand depression, the more likely those suffering from it will get the care and support they need. Here are some tips on how you can begin to raise awareness for depression.
Ways to Raise Depression Awareness
Talk about it
It can be incredibly difficult to talk about emotional struggles you may be having, but by speaking openly about your depression you invite others to do the same. If you don’t personally struggle with depression, you can encourage those around you to speak up if they are feeling down or are struggling. Making sure your friends and family know you are a safe person to talk to about their mental health is essential in starting an open dialogue. Most importantly, spread the word that depression is treatable. Depression can feel like an inescapable, dark pit, but with the right support, you can overcome these feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Share mental health screening information
All doctors and general practitioners can screen an individual for depression. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to see a specialist to receive a diagnosis and help. You can access a mental health screening through your state to start receiving support. There are also self-screening tests online to take to your doctor when you go in for an appointment. These resources are available because depression is so prevalent, so do not be embarrassed or shameful of how you are feeling.
Share your story
Similar to starting an open dialogue about depression, sharing your story can help others engage in the conversation. Of course, your health is personal, so when sharing only offer up details that you are comfortable discussing. Depression is an illness you can’t see, so by speaking about your struggle you can show others that they are not alone. Depression can make you feel extremely isolated from the ones around you, so hearing from someone else with similar experiences can help make it feel a little less lonely. Ultimately, sharing your story can inspire someone to reach out for help and start to heal from their depression.
Address false beliefs
There are many myths associated with depression that must be addressed in order to clear the stigma. If you ever hear someone spreading false information about depression, speak up and correct them. The only way to ensure people are receiving accurate information is to correct people who spread myths, intentionally or not, and by educating yourself and the ones around you.
Know what the signs of depression are
Knowing what the symptoms of depression are is essential in addressing it. Being able to tell what behaviors are associated with depression can help you know when to reach out to support someone who is struggling. Moreover, sharing these signs and symptoms on social media can offer others insight on what to look out for if they are or someone they know is suffering from depression. Some signs of depression are:
- Feeling sad or hopeless for two or more weeks
- Not being able to get out of bed
- Eating too little or too much
- Complaining about physical pain, such as headaches
- Frequent crying
- Losing interest in activities
- Refusing to go to work/school
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts
Many mental health organizations frequently need assistance in their efforts. Reach out to a local community outreach center or suicide hotline to offer your support. This will not only help you raise awareness for depression and mental health but will also give you the opportunity to make and witness real change.
Try to memorize a suicide prevention line
If you know someone in distress or crisis, entourage them to reach out to a suicide prevention hotline. These services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you know someone in severe crisis and who may be in immediate danger, take them to an emergency room. Emergency room physicians are able to screen for depression and can get them the treatment they need.
Take time to care for your own mental health
Lead by example. Make sure to prioritize your own mental health daily. Be sure to practice self-care in order to maintain your mental wellbeing. Self-care looks different for every person but can include scheduling weekly meetings with your therapist, going on a run, reading a book, practicing mindfulness, and more. The better you take care of your own mental health, the better you’ll be able to support others.
Addressing Your Depression with NuView Treatment Center
If you are struggling to cope with your depression, NuView Treatment Center can help you begin to heal. NuView Treatment Center in Los Angeles offers outpatient addiction and mental health treatment that is made to give clients the tools they need to recover. The evidence-based treatment programs available at NuView can help clients address the mental health and addiction issues that are preventing them from living their best life. With help from NuView, you can begin to address your depression in a safe environment and develop the necessary coping mechanisms to thrive in your daily life.