Empower the Village
Updated: Mar 3, 2020
This recently published piece from The Huffington Post explores the complex question of how we, as a friend, family member or co-worker, can best support someone suffering from a high-functioning form of depression. It takes a village, after all.
I am thrilled to see this article being read and shared, not only because I am quoted in it (!), but because this topic doesn't get addressed nearly as much as it should. It is problematic enough that individuals with depression don't always seek professional help for their own difficulties, but those of us closest to them are less likelier still to ask for help in helping them.
As of March of this year, about 1 in 25 people suffers from depression according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That amounts to a staggering number of about 300 million people around the world.
Part of the reason for such a high number lies in the fact that treating depression is not easy; even though your clinical psychologist or psychiatrist will use a standardized manual to assess your symptoms and place your diagnosis, this mood disorder doesn't look the same for everyone. And while we spend much of our time and effort speaking directly to those who are battling its symptoms (as we should!), we very rarely address their support network- their village. This article does exactly that, by offering 11 guiding actions that can be taken right now.
Let your friend know that you care about their well-being and that there are so many different ways of improving it these days, from coaching to mindfulness practices and even nutrition-based approaches. [Number 10]
If you were ever that 1 person out of every 25 people experiencing depression, imagine this: Imagine how differently your depression would have looked, lasted and effected your life, if the other 24 people had known exactly how to support and help you?
Which ever side of the statistic you may be on at the moment, I ask you to please help us all by sharing this information and raising awareness on this topic. Let's empower the village.