October recognized as Depression Awareness Month - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

October recognized as Depression Awareness Month

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On the heels of a very sad week, many are looking for comfort after witness the tragic shootings in Las Vegas.

Coincidentally, it's Depression Awareness Month, and News 5 is focusing on the help that is available in finding ways to cope in these very difficult times.

The National Association on Mental Illness based out of Colorado Springs says it's more important than ever to take time for yourself, check in on family and friends around you and take time to remind each other that there is still so much good left in this world.

"Very serious depression is not to be minimized," Lorie Jarvis, Executive Director of NAMI said.

A debilitating illness that Jarvis says is far too often ignored.

"I think it's part of our culture to kind of buck up and ignore the symptoms, minimize the symptoms, deny the symptoms," she said.

And after nearly 60 people were killed and hundreds others injured in the Las Vegas shooting this week, she says it's normal for people to be feeling down.

"It's easy to forget that we just have to reach out to each other, remind each other, that there's still so much good in the world," she said.

While there isn't much we can do to change what happened, there is something to be said about how we treat those around us.

"This is the time to express appreciation, gratitude, for the people that are in your life, that make your life better, make everyday better," she said.

Aside from that, you can also look out for the warning signs in family and friends. If they're gaining or losing weight quickly, if they're withdrawing themselves, if they're not up to everyday tasks or stop doing things they enjoy.

"If they're someone who likes to get out for a walk everyday and those are things that they typically do and they're just not able to do them, that's a good indicator that someone's really struggling," she said.

And when you see those signs, she says, don't be afraid to say something.

"I'm seeing some things that are concerning to me and I just wanted to mention them to you," she said.

If you are struggling through depression, there are many resources available at no cost:

  • Text TALK to 38255 for Colorado Crisis Services
  • Contact NAMI for free resources at 719-473-8477
  • Contact Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance toll-free at (800) 826-3632
  • Call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255
  • Visit a walk-in crisis center 24/7/365 at 6071 E. Woodmen Road Ste. 135 in Colorado Springs or 115 S. Parkside Drive in Colorado Springs
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