Ways to Raise Depression Awareness
Talk about it, spread information, and share knowledge and experiences. The more depression is talked about and publicly understood, the less it will seem like a touchy subject. Bell Canada has its annual "Bell Let's Talk" day, which is a great way to open up the conversation. But for those who aren't part of large companies or organizations there are things that can be done on a smaller scale:
- Social Media: Facebook is a great way to communicate information to a large number of people. Creating a Facebook page with daily updates that allows people to join and share their experiences will help build a community for people to turn to. Having this as a public page will create a space for those living with depression to turn to as well as providing information to the general population. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are other popular social media outlets that could be wonderful tools.
- Support Groups: A quick Google search for depression support groups in your community should bring you plenty of opportunities to get involved. If there aren't any groups close by you could try contacting community centers or your local representative and create your own. The more widespread and easily accessible the information is, the more likely people will get involved.
- School Presentations: This would be a great way to get teachers and students involved. Gather a few speakers and create a presentation that could be shown in school assemblies or classrooms – this way both students and teachers are receiving the same information. Encourage the teachers and the school to continue the discussion and expand on the information given after your presentation.
- Volunteer: There are many walks, runs, or rides throughout the year to raise awareness for a myriad of illnesses. Find one that's devoted to depression and volunteer. Encouraging your friends and family to volunteer with you or get involved in the walk could be a great way to spend the day. The more people involved, either participating or helping out, the more people will be exposed to the foundation and the cause. These events are a great way for foundations to raise funds needed for research and support.
- Office Events: This can be as small as a staff meeting or as large as a fundraising event. Having a presentation full of key points and valuable information as well as resources for employees to look into on their own time would be a good way to open up the conversation within the office.
- Bake Sales and Craft Shows: This is a great way to raise awareness as well as raise money for an organization or foundation of your choice. Have a brief speech prepared for those that come by your table as well as pamphlets and literature for them to read on their own time. Having hand-outs and links to online resources is not only a good way to raise awareness but it could become a valuable tool to someone living with depression who may not have known where to look for help. You never know who you're talking to or how important the information you're sharing could be.