Mental health organizations say we must 'Seize the Awkward.' No question talking about depression and suicide are hard conversations. Now a new campaign encourages young adults and teenagers to open up to each other.
It's a conversations that's more important than ever with more than half of parents concerned about their children's mental well being. Attempted suicides rising 51% among adolescent girls.
Advocate and storyteller Donovan Beck reaches thousands on social media and uses his platform to help and encourage others. Like so many he's struggled.
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"In my own journey, throughout my life, I have suffered from anxiety and depression and as an artist I use those experiences today," explains Beck. He works to create spaces online to talk openly. "75% percent of young people admit it's easier to talk to a peer than adult," says Beck.
'Seize the Awkward' gives teens and young adults conversation starters when they notice something isn't quite right with a friend.
"It doesn't have to be in-depth. You as a friend know the way they act. Are they eating less, sleeping way more and haven't been coming to as many events?" remarks Beck. He advises the best thing you can do is offer space, community and support.
The campaign also features videos from popular artists like Billie Eilish sharing their stories.
"We all have mental health just like we have physical health. It waxes and wanes over time based on lots of factors," says Dr. Christine Yu Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
She explains most importantly we have to get rid of the stigma.
Four in 0 young adults report they experienced persistent sadness or hopelessness during the past year. The added disruption, uncertainty and isolation could have a lasting impact. "This is not just going to go away," warns Dr. Yu Moutier.
Beck says simply letting someone know you care can be a game changer. "That can change the entire narrative from I'm alone in this, no one cares, to I'm feeling I have people who care and we can work through this," remarks Beck.
Advocates say we can't be afraid to take that first step worrying we will offend someone.
Leading medical experts have declared a national emergency for youth mental health.