Cougar Chronicle

Depression: Tips and Resources

Mental illness is something millions of people face, and CK is no exception

Depression is a severe problem, and it can affect anyone from any walk of life.

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Depression is a severe problem, and it can affect anyone from any walk of life.

by Victoria Steffee, Reporter

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Nov. 20, 2018

 

Depression is a serious issue teens face today. According to a 2016 study, almost 13% of American adolescents faced depression. That is over 3 million people, yet only 19% of them received professional help. Students at CK face the same issues, and they have the same shortcomings when it comes to receiving treatment.  

 

Depression is best characterized as a haze. People lose interest in their day to day lives, often falling prey to feelings of worthlessness and even self-hatred. However, there is a difference between adulthood depression and what adolescents experience.

 

While some youth might feel sad, tearful, and have a lack of energy as with adult depression, others find that they are more irritable or angry than sad,” says Dr. Amanda Harmon, who works at NW Family Psychology. She specializes in mental health counseling and family therapy.

 

The website Verywell Mind outlines many of the risks students with untreated depression face, including substance abuse, difficulties performing in school, and reckless behavior. There is also the significant issue of suicide. The Center for Disease Control estimates that suicide is the third leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 24, and nearly 5,000 kids are lost per year.

 

Ways to combat depression are many and varied. The most common method advised is to establish a support system with open and clear communication. Self care, like nutrition, sleep and exercise, is also important. Activity is important for warding off depression.

CK doesn’t have any formal system to help with depression.

“We talk about what resources they have available to them like a close family member or friend,” says Michelle Sotelo, one of the counselors. While she admits that the counselors at CK do not receive the necessary training to handle depressed students, they will do what they can to help students in need. If they feel a student is on the verge, they will contact Crisis Response, a network meant to help people no matter what their need is.

There are multiple other resources available to people in need.

Crisis Clinic of the Peninsulas is open to anyone, no matter how big or small the problem is (1-800-843-4793).

The Trevor Project is for LGBTQ+ people, and they offer calls, texts, or online chats for anyone in need (1-866-488-7386).

The Men’s Suicide Prevention Project provides support to men, a group often underdiagnosed when it comes to mental health issues.

The app “My3” is meant to provide a network for people, creating a crisis plan as well as establishing contacts for when a person is struggling. It is available on both the AppStore and Google Play.

“Youper” is an AI that, while not replacing, acts as a professional for a multitude of mental health issues. It tracks highs and lows, as well as teaches strategies for controlling moods. It is also available on the AppStore and Google Play.

Victoria Steffee
Youper’s depression monitoring graph, along with it’s projections for the future.

Depression isn’t permanent. It is possible to grow past it. A person only needs to reach out, and someone will be there to help.

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