Next week, April 11-17th is Depression awareness week and I for one will be trying to get more people to talk about this illness and their experiences with the ultimate goal being that eventually it will be seen as a perfectly normal thing to do rather than a “brave move”. We still have a long way to go to succeed in our battle against stigma and discrimination, and public spending cuts don’t help the cause but as a “tribe” we can do a lot to change people’s perception of depression and mental illness ourselves and help to eradicate the myths which surround this illness.
To do this successfully we need to “stick together like birds of a feather” so that our voice is a united and strong one in both the public and private arenas. By joining forces with like-minded individuals and support organisations like the Depression Alliance we have a solid platform from which we can promote and demand change. By becoming members of and working with the Depression Alliance we get access to information and professional expertise in the medical, social policy and support disciplines as well as an opportunity to tell THEM what WE need.
So next week these are my goals;
- To link up with as many people at work that I know who have depression and make sure they know about Depression awareness week.
- To contact the Depression Alliance and discuss ideas and suggestions put forward by the Depression Alliance Facebook members
- To follow up and promote the Depression Alliance Picnic in the Park scheduled for early June-let’s make it happen and happen good!
- To blog everyday about a self-help technique or tool to alleviate depression symptoms
And yes, it’s great to have high-profile entertainers, sportsmen and women and politicians admitting to their depression and talking about how they cope with it but we also need all you “extraordinary-ordinary” people to come forward and do the same. Let’s follow their example and prove that this illness is nothing to be ashamed of and show that the only people who refuse to accept depression as an illness like any other and to provide proper care and support are those ignorant of the facts.