Beyond the Headlines

Show topic: Recession Depression

Watch Sundays at 10:00 AM for new episodes.

Next episode: March 15, 2009
Show topic: Recession Depression
Hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Jennings

This week's episode of "Beyond the Headlines" explores the emotional cost of the current recession and the stress and anxiety it brings. A recent AP poll shows that nearly half of all people surveyed are now worried about losing their job. That's almost double since the same survey was done last year.

The ailing economy is pushing some people well beyond simply worrying and into something far more dangerous – something that's being described as "recession depression." Mental illness and the term "depression" are not used lightly here. It's important to note that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. And Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15 through 44, affecting almost 15 million adults each year.

Often, very few people are willing to talk openly about their struggles with mental illness because of the stigma often associated with issues like depression. But, during this show, you'll learn about an organization known as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that is working to change that stigma. And you'll hear one woman's personal story about her own battles with depression and how she got through it.

Mental illness and depression, specifically, can manifest itself in a variety of ways in different people. As more soldiers are coming home from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are also on the rise. You'll hear how one soldier's undiagnosed PTSD led him down a path of crime and drugs. But help is out there, through NAMI and the VA, with resources for returning soldiers and their families.

Depression can also occur in children and teens. We'll learn how some of the signs of depression look different in kids and how to get them help, with tips from Westside Community Services from San Francisco.

Studio Guests
Dr. Don Mordecai Chief of Psychiatry, Kaiser Permanente, San Jose
(408) 972-3095

Polly Flinn
Member, NAMI San Mateo County

Dr. Gifford Boyce-Smith
President, NAMI San Francisco
(415) 905-NAMI (6264)

Stephanie Wiggins
Program Manager, Child, Youth & Family Outpatient Services, Westside Community Services, SF (415) 431-8252
(NOTE: Westside CYF is a publicly-funded clinic accepting Medical & Health families.)

Additional Resources
Santa Clara County Mental Health Call Center

NAMI Walks SF Bay Area
May 30, 2009

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