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DepressionHurts launches in Ireland

It Starts with You

DepressionHurts launches inIreland

Twitter led social programme to help sufferers of Depression

ONLINE LAUNCH Tuesday 20 December, 2011 at 8:30pm

#DepressionHurts is launched today to raise awareness of depression and suicide and to de stigmatise this disease. One in four people inIrelandsuffer from depression. Look to the left of you, look to the right, perhaps look in the mirror, but you are closer to a sufferer of depression than you think. That equates to 1 million people or a quarter of the population.

Today we are launching a video to raise awareness. This video is located at www.YouTube.com/depressionhurtsvideo and will be live at 8:30pm this evening (Tuesday Dec 20)

Today we are launching a manned Twitter account to talk to people over the ten days of Christmas, beginning on December 24. The Twitter account is @121Depression

Today we are launching a Facebook resource where shared experiences and practical help will be gathered for people to come and learn and support their friends and families. The Facebook account is http://www.facebook.com/Depressionhurts121

DepressionHurts has been organised in two weeks through Twitter and has been done entirely through volunteers. Strangers banding together to help stop the hurt. Depression hurts but we can help. Norah Bohan, @TalentCoop and Alan Lavender, @alanceltic, sent out an original tweet which was seen by more than 200,000 people. They got a superb response from sufferers, families, media, pr, social media, mental health professionals, university research projects and much more.

They hatched a plan. Within a week they had a script, a cast, a crew and venue. They even had catering, lighting, makeup, pr, singers, music, a recording studio. Day One they filmed the video, Day Two they recorded the backing music. Week Two they gathered the volunteers to man the Twitter account. Week Two they edited and mixed video and music.

The tweet account, @121Depression, will be manned for a ten day period  from December 24th. Volunteers have been sourced from all over the country and also from overseas. This account will offer front line support for people who need help over Christmas. Tweeting is like texting – it is sometimes easier to text someone for help than to call. Tweeting will provide the same easy way of communication and is immediate, the same way texting is immediate.

The online resource is being compiled to include information from actual depression sufferers, together with links to relevant support organisations and counselling services.

Please – view the video. Take time to think about what is might mean to know someone with depression. There is nothing shameful in suffering from depression, no more than suffering from asthma, cancer or a cold.

Tell your friends and family about the Twitter account @121Depression, you don’t know who might need it, you might need it.

And direct them to the Facebook resource bank. Share your comments on it. Bring your resources to it. Share, learn, share.

Depression is not going away and it is not a dirty secret. It is a real disease and it is living beside you, next door to you, down the road from you. The man who parks outside the shop on a Sunday morning, the woman that serves you a breakfast roll, the teenager that catches the bus to school, the manager in your office, the guard directing traffic, the accountant ringing for copy invoices, the cleaner who comes on a Friday, the petrol pump attendant, the laughing woman behind the bar. All may have the disease in some form. It won’t bite you, it’s not contagious, and it’s not disgusting. It just is.

Ignoring suicide will not make it go away

  • Suicide rates have reached an all time high inIreland, up 4percent on last year
  • Suicide accounts for more deaths for young men aged between 15-24 than any other cause.
  • Key triggers are financial worries, loss of employment and addictions.
  • Add to that seasonal pressures and an extended economic depression and the outlook is very bleak indeed for some people.
  • In 2011 there were twice as many suicides than road deaths – 212 versus 400 plus, and that is only the known suicides.

The language has got to change

  • The only time the word Commit is used in connection to death is with Suicide, no one commits cancer, heart attack or stroke.
  • Depression is a disease like any other. It is acceptable to have depression, same as it is acceptable to have cancer, IBS or MS.

Twitter is a force for Good

Today we launch the #depressionhurts project and ask for your support. What do you have to do? Look at the video, tell your family and friends about the Twitter account and point people to the Facebook resource page.

Oh, and stop treating depression like a dirty secret.

Thank you

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