In November 2015 Marie sat at her computer. She was trying to work, but she was struggling. She had lost her motivation. She didn’t know why. She also didn’t know why she was cancelling plans with her friends again. She was trying to ignore the sadness that was nagging at her but it wasn’t working. As she browsed the internet, something caught her attention:
She clicked the link. It took her to Calgary Counselling Centre’s free, online depression screening test. It was all part of Calgary Counselling Centre’s National Depression Screening Day (NDSD). NDSD is a week-long campaign to raise awareness of depression and to encourage those who need it to seek help. This is achieved by providing a free and anonymous online screening test.
That week Marie was one of close to 9,500 people from across North America who took the test. Of that, 5,200 learned that they were showing signs of depression and should consider seeking treatment. Marie, and the thousands of others may not have taken the test if it weren’t for the Calgary Foundation. The Calgary Foundation was one of many generous community partners who invested in our Defy Depression campaign. In this case, the funds were specifically dedicated towards advertising and marketing in order to help people seek treatment.
Advertising and marketing can sometimes be overlooked, but it plays a critical role in awareness and education campaigns. It allows us to share important messages about depression and mental illness, and the services that are available to the community.
The Calgary Foundation’s support was instrumental in helping Calgary Counselling Centre raise awareness of depression, addressing the stigma and more importantly, having those who seek help take the test and get the help needed. Many lives were changed as direct result of The Calgary Foundation’s generous support.
NDSD is part of the Defy Depression campaign. The Defy Depression Campaign, targeted to raise $6 million dollars, is a comprehensive, transformational way of preventing and treating depression through four pillars: activation, access, education and research. NDSD falls under the activation pillar. The focus is to raise awareness about depression and ensure more people seek help for the debilitating yet highly-treatable issue.
Thank you again to The Calgary Foundation for supporting our community.
The four key elements of Defy Depression are:
- Activation: depression screening campaigns, awareness activities
- Access: ensure subsidies are available for our most vulnerable citizens, develop cultural-specific programs
- Education: train more counsellors, students and service providers on leading international best practices
- Research: ongoing evaluation and analysis of program outcomes, share best practices with policy makers and other service providers