How can young people deal with depression?

Of recent, media has been awash with reports of many young people in the region, mostly students, committing suicide under different circumstances. According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people globally are now living with depression.

At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year making suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 15-29.

Some young people shared with Sharon Kantengwa, their thoughts on dealing with the enormity of depression.

Young people, especially teens are growing up with unrealistic expectations. Along with the lifestyle standards that have been set by modern media sources, most parents are not teaching their kids the kind of coping skills they need to survive as they grow into adulthood. The media, I think needs to do better as regards to how they portray how young people should transition in life.

Isaac Keishe, student

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Our society is increasingly becoming selfish. People do not care about the people around them anymore and it hurting the young people, who are living in a crisis of family issues or unachieved dreams. This is even worsened by the negativity and trolling that is on social media. We just need to be there for one another and show concern, rather than panic when people take their lives or drown into substance abuse.

Stephen Nkotanyi, photographer

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The earlier depression is treated, the sooner one can start to feel better. Young people can be helped by initiating conversations once you notice ongoing changes in their mood. Families can also support their emotional wellbeing by prioritising a healthy lifestyle at home: having meals together, eating healthy food, having daily physical activity, and ensuring they get plenty of sleep. 

Rebekah Talitha, pharmacist

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Many people with depression walk around with a smile, and hide the fact that something is eating them up, even from close friends and relatives, for fear of harsh judgement from society. It shows that as society we need to spread more awareness on mental health and make good use of counsellors and mental health specialists.

 

Charlotte Nabaasa, social worker

 

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