Friends and family of those experiencing depression are being encouraged to let them know that they are there to support them this Christmas and New Year, with the Lean on Me depression awareness campaign.
An estimated 400,000 people in Ireland experience depression at any one time. A recent survey on depression found that over half of those who had experienced depression at some point in their life did not tell their family and friends, with 75 per cent saying that they withdrew from family and friends. There were a number of reasons for this, with 28 per cent saying they were too scared, ashamed, or overwhelmed; 18 per cent thought they would not understand and would turn away from them; 57 per cent did not want to burden them with their problems, and 29 per cent did not know how to tell them.
Supported by Lundbeck Ireland and Aware, Lean on Me was developed to dispel the myths surrounding depression, to encourage better understanding of the condition, and encourage those who are affected to seek treatment if necessary. The campaign includes an interactive website — www.leanonme.net — which provides detailed information on the causes, symptoms, and impact of depression.