Over the past few years, Be Smart. Be Well. has worked to build a library of mental health resources for teens and parents of teens. By letting us into their lives and sharing their stories, the young people we featured help others understand the challenges of mental health issues; while the passionate, leading experts we interviewed provide clear advice on how to manage these issues. Here are a few images from our video shoots.
“The difference between normal teen moodiness and clinical depression is very hard for lay people to discern,” says Ken Duckworth M.D., medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a featured expert in the video Teens and Depression: Top Five Signs to Look For.
Dr. Duckworth makes due in the crowded Massachusetts National Alliance on Mental Illness conference room where the Be Smart. Be Well. crew set up for the interview. He also ignored some bright lights to be able to focus on his interviewer.
Colleen was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when she was 13. “I was in the eighth grade when everything sort of came crashing down,” she says. Colleen needed help, and she got it.
About 11 percent of young people experience depression during adolescence; about 3 percent of U.S. teens have experienced a seriously debilitating depressive disorder. Untreated depression increases the risk for suicide, which is the third-leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24.
Studies show that the sooner a teen receives treatment for depression, the less likely he or she is to experience depression again later in life.
Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is featured in Mental Health: What is It? and several other Be Smart. Be Well. videos. “People do recover,” Mr. Fitzpatrick insists, “And there are treatments that work.”