If you’ve seen the papers this morning, you’ll probably have read about Martin Hadfield, a 20-year-old from Greater Manchester who died by suicide after applying for 40 jobs in 12 weeks with no success. There’s been a lot of research into the complicated relationship between depression and unemployment, with statistics from the Prince’s Trust showing that almost a third of long-term unemployed young people have considered taking their own lives and almost half of unemployed young people reported being depressed.
Martin’s stepfather said that Martin and young people like him “forget to think about talking to someone”. So if you’re feeling depressed, we want you to know that there are numerous people and organisations that can help you, here are just a few of those:
Depression is a serious mental health issue, and if you think you’re suffering with depression – have a look at the NHS choices website for a full list of the symptoms of depression – you should see your GP. They’ll be able to suggest medication that may help or put you in touch with a free counselling service.
Visiting the GP can feel like a pretty scary step to take, but you shouldn’t be worried or embarrassed. If you had problems with your stomach you would go to your GP, so you should for your mental health too.
If you’re not sure what to say when you’re speaking to your GP, try writing down how you’re feeling before you go to see them, it might make it a bit easier. Your GP will probably have some questions to ask you and might get you to fill in a questionnaire about how you’ve been feeling. This is just so that they can get a full picture of your mental health – they’re not trying to catch you out.
Lots of different charities and organisations run support groups where you can meet other people who are experiencing similar issues, it’s a chance for you to be honest and open about how you’re feeling and get help from people who know what you’re experiencing.
They’ll also help you to realise that you’re not the only person experiencing these feelings and the people in your support group may be able to suggest ways of coping or things that will improve how you feel. If nothing else, they’re someone you can talk to.
If you’re looking for support groups in your area there are a number of organisations who run them, here are a few to look at: For groups in England try the Depression Alliance, for Wales have a look at Journeys, if you’re in Scotland Action on Depression run a number of groups, and Aware in Northern Ireland hold groups all over the country.
As well as running offline support groups, the Depression Alliance also recently launched an online support network for people suffering with depression. Friends in Need is free to sign up and you can post questions that you might have, and meet people online, in your local area, and with similar interests. Offline meet ups are often arranged through the Friends in Need site too, so it’s not just online support that you’ll be getting. For more information and to sign up, have a look at their site.
If you’re looking for urgent help, one of the best resources you’ll find is helplines. The most well-known one is Samaritans and you can call them any time on 08457 909090. Samaritans also have branches all over the country where you can get face to face support.
Alternatively, Papyrus run a HOPElineUK just for people under 35 who are suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts, you can call them Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, or 2pm to 5pm at weekends on 0800 068 41 41.