#despressionhurts has launched new website for Depression Awareness Week which examines the issues and the stigma around depression and suicide.
The website offers information, links and support to those suffering with depression or to those who know anyone affected by the illness.
It includes real-life stories by those affected by depression and includes specialist sections for employees, employers and trade unions on how to treat mental health in the workplace.
The site aims to raise awareness of depression and suicide by removing the stigma around these subjects.
#depressionhurts was founded by Norah Bohan and Alan Lavender, who both produced and directed the short film It Starts With You, which also highlighted the issue. The film was made with the support of volunteers from a network of Twitter users who also helped co-ordinate Ireland’s first 24/7 Twitter helpline for depression and suicide.
“We called the video It Starts With You – because it does! It’s how you think and behave that either adds to the hurt of depression or suicide or helps the sufferers,” said Lavender.
“We know to change attitude and remove stigma to depression and suicide, It Starts With You and we hope lots of ‘You’ will decide to be part of the change,” he said.
Next month, #depressionhurts will launch an educational programme for schools about depression and suicide. It will also make the programme available to colleges and other groups.
“We’ve developed an educational guide for teachers and students which covers in-class lesson outlines, suggestions for awareness creating projects and helpful information available for download to support young people in ‘Minding each others’ Minds’ and to use as a basis for discussion with parents, families and friends to spread the message and advice on the maintenance of good emotional health,” said Bohan.
“Our young people have many pressures and it’s critical they understand how to maintain good emotional health and what to do if they have any problems. Suicide statistics are frighteningly high and we want to ensure no young person feels this is ever a solution to their individual problems,” she said.