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Depression: Lets end the stigma

“I just can’t take any more.” They were the words of someone who lost their long battle with depression. Someone who felt that their depression was so deep; there was no way out other than to take their own life. Unfortunately, for too many people this is the case. Over 800,000 people die to suicide every year and it is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. This number is worryingly large and I ask a question, why isn’t more done to help those with depression who see suicide as their only viable option?

I was out running a few days ago and on my route, I run past many bus stops that have posters on them, advertising what most will already know. McDonalds & KFC festive menu’s, the big supermarkets like Asda & Tesco showing what you can save or maybe it’s Boots showing what perfume they have on offer during the Christmas season. Do any of us actually see these and decide to go there for food, shopping or perfume? I’d be surprised if the majority answer yes. Why not, instead we advertise the amazing work charities like Depression Alliance, Mind and Samaritan’s do to help those suffering with depression and advertise a number for them to call so they can talk about their depression?

Many don’t like opening up about their struggles with depression; however don’t you think that if one of these people waiting at the bus stop, or walking by, sees a poster advertising Depression with a number to call, or showing they aren’t alone, this would do a lot more than advertising festive menu’s? It isn’t just those posters on bus stops; it’s the radio and television too. How many times do we hear what new film is being released or that One Direction have another album out? IMDB and Itunes tell us this, so instead, why not an advert on how depression will affect 1 in 5 of us at some point in life and show how people shouldn’t be afraid of saying “I have depression.”

It was 2006 that my Dad lost his battle with depression and back then, even I wasn’t familiar at the time with depression, however I was familiar with television. If I had seen an advert on the television of symptoms of depression, I’d of understood more what he was going through and maybe could of done more to help him. Would it of helped my dad if he’d watched it and thought “I’m not alone and I can beat this.” Yes it would.

I don’t know who I’d speak too about advertising depression in the public and media, however if it happened, I’d hope that those 800,000 lives lost to suicide every year would reverse and instead 800,000 lives would be saved every year.

I personally believe that if the whole world knows how big depression is and how many it affects then many lives will be saved and not lost to suicide. So let’s end the stigma around depression and stop letting it take so many lives.

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