May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This week was designated as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. A new Netflix series – 13 Reasons Why – has sparked a lot of dialogue about depression and suicide prevention. In the show, the main character, Clay, seeks to understand why his crush and classmate decided to end her life. Many have spoken out against the show and some have expressed a desire for it to be canceled (see article from CNN). As a member of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP), I was glad to see the organization make a statement on 13 Reasons Why (read here). It notes, “While the show serves as a 'conversation starter' for mental illness and suicide, it fails to demonstrate the availability of evidence-based mental healthcare.” In response to the recent controversy, Netflix has added a warning to the beginning of the show and created a website with information about mental health resources.
Warning Signs of Depression
In a previous post, I provided information on suicide and suicide prevention. One of the first steps in helping someone with depression and suicide being aware of the warning signs. People may not always be open about their emotional state, so if you can recognize these signs it helps to start a conversation. Be sure to listen and stay calm.
What You Can Do to Help
It can be hard to identify if someone is depression and even more difficult to know how to respond when someone opens up about being depressed. The first thing to do is recommend or help the person find a mental health provider or psychologist. Below are some additional suggestions from the NIMH to help those you know.
Visit my website
Like me on Facebook
Read my Psychology Today blog
Copyright 2017 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.