Bring depression understanding into the classroom. (USE #NoMoreMean)

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Ignorance isn't always bliss. When the human race doesn’t understand someone, we get squeamish, which can cause us to bully or harm whomever we don’t understand, sometimes unintentionally. Depressed children and teens can be subjected to this at school, and it can cause their condition to worsen. If ignorance can be turned into understanding, we could majorly change how depression is viewed by others. Bringing understanding about depression through learning in schools could help eliminate this ignorance in the next generation and beyond.

An estimated 350 million people worldwide have depression and in about every middle school classroom, one middle school child has depression. You most likely know at least one person with depression, even if you don’t know it (healthline.com). Depression can impair a person’s ability to eat regularly, sleep, and function normally. If you notice that someone eats a lot less or more, causing extreme weight changes, and is extremely pessimistic, they could have depression. Depression victims may also feel constantly alone and with no motivation to do anything, causing them to isolate themselves and stay home (allaboutdepression.com).

An 8th grade student from Rosemount Middle School in Rosemount Minnesota had depression. His mom had been battling breast cancer since before he could remember. The summer before 8th grade, his mom passed away. It was obvious to those who knew him that he was depressed, but nothing was done about it. One day, his friends could not get a hold of him. One friend went to his house to find him, only to find that he had committed suicide. If his friends had known how to help him and to alert an adult, they possibly could have helped him (Alexander, Genesis).

As a student at Rosemount Middle School, where this happened, I have done very well with my learning career, which has helped me to realize the gravity of this situation. I, as a thirteen year old myself, have experienced a short amount of depression and could not imagine it being worse. My friend has depression and knows many others that do also. I have made it my job to show her that she is appreciated. It has been hard for me to see my friend like this and I wish that it hadn't taken the personal push for me to go out and learn about depression. I never fully understood it until this came into my life.

If we could understand depression, we may be able to help instead of hurt others. Children and Teens should be taught how to identify the symptoms of depression and to alert an adult immediately. Teachers are already being taught these things, along with how to tell the difference between symptoms of puberty and depression. A teacher at my school, Rosemount Middle, says that some parents’ ignorance is causing them to deny the symptoms their children display. She has talked to parents that simply don’t know how to deal with depression and don’t want to accept the possibility that their child could have depression (Alexander, Genesis).

During the 18th and early 19th centuries, doctors thought depression couldn’t be treated. Many victims were shunned or sent to institutions that served the purpose of an asylum (Mentalhelp.net). We now understand depression to some degree, but a ton of children and adults are still ignorant about depression. Training our youth to treat depression victims with kindness, along with helping them to understand and recognize depression will help alleviate most of that ignorance in the next generation.

If we succeed in getting this curriculum implemented, which will be difficult, I believe the ignorance shall recede easily and we will have won the battle. Bringing these lessons into the classroom, starting with Minnesota and continuing with other states, will help us take a leap toward dealing with depression and limiting the one million people that die from suicide worldwide, every year. One person dies from suicide every 40 seconds (medicalnewstoday.com). If you help get rid of our ignorance, you could be a part of lengthening the gap second by second, minute by minute, and hour by hour. Help give someone another chance.



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