The City of Norfolk has officially deemed October Depression Awareness Month, but it’s we, the citizens, that have to lead the conversation.
Suicide, by and large, is preventable. The 24 people in Norfolk who took their own lives in 2015 could still be with us.
If people can recognize the symptoms and identify depression as a medical condition, they can get help. An estimated 600 people attempted suicide in Norfolk in 2015. Our neighbors and friends could have been spared this trauma, if they had found the right help sooner.
That’s why breaking down the stigma in our community is so important. The more, as a community, that we’re comfortable with the conversation, the more quickly so many will find and get the help they need.
We’ve got to talk about it, Norfolk.
I encourage you today to start a conversation about depression and mental health, and I encourage you to be open about it. You can:
Be brave, and share your personal experiences.
Be helpful, and share your coping mechanisms.
Be a friend, and let those around you who are suffering from depression know that they have a friend in you.
We need to make this shift in our culture for our children, if not for ourselves. 1 in 4 Norfolk teens reported depression routinely hindering their everyday activities. 15.2% of Coastal Virginia High Schoolers have contemplated suicide.
These numbers are unacceptably high.
Today, be the change. Talk about it, Norfolk.
Head to TalkAboutItNorfolk.com to show your support by changing your Facebook profile picture, and more.
You can see the rest of the Talk About it Norfolk video series here, including conversations with Congressman Scott Taylor, Sheriff Joe Baron, and Mayor Kenny Alexander.
For more on Mentally Healthy Norfolk month, including a calendar of events, click here.
The Talk About it Norfolk video series was produced pro bono by Sway Creative Labs and Flagship Visuals. To learn more about them, here is Sway’s website, Facebook, and Youtube; and here is Flagship’s website, Vimeo, and Instagram.