To raise awareness of depression as a mental illness, to support those living with depression, and to educate the public about suicide awareness.

What is depression?

Depression is a disease, just as much as HIV and cancer are diseases. It is often misunderstood because its manifestations are found in the deeper fabric of the soul as opposed to the physical body. But depression is real, even if it isn't obvious to others. In fact, even sufferers don't often understand that they have depression. They may think it's just "the blues" or a "passing phase". For some people, this may be true, but for the true patient, it's not.

So how do you know? Look for:

-Constant feelings of sadness, emptiness, or anxiety
-Lack of energy
-Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
-A sense of pessimism and hopelessness
-Feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless
-Insomnia or sleeping too much
-Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, including plans to take one's own life.

If you think you may suffer from depression, see a mental health professional or your family doctor. If you're having suicidal ideations, DON'T WAIT. Get help NOW. Relief will come, but only if you are willing to accept it.

Source: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

Feel free to message me (Jenny Mercer) at any time if you have any comments, questions, or just want to talk. I'd love to hear from you!

1. People must realize the impact of depression on themselves and others.

2. Attitudes towards depression must change so that patients feel safe receiving needed treatment.

3. The public must recognize the signs of impending suicide and act to save lives.

4. Patients living with depression understand each other better than society at large; therefore, they should support each other.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.