About Mental Illness

Mark the Date: Wednesday, May 21: Depression Documentary: NAMI and Jane Pauley

Don’t miss NAMI medical director Ken Duckworth discussing depression as part of a panel of experts moderated by broadcast journalist Jane Pauley on TAKE ONE STEP: Caring for Depression, with Jane Pauley.

The program will immediately follow the national premiere of the PBS documentary, DEPRESSION: Out of the Shadows, on Wednesday, May 21 at 9:00 p.m. (ET). Check local PBS station listings.

Other panel participants are Dennis Charney, M.D., dean of Mt. Sinai Medical School and former chief of mood and anxiety disorders research at the National Institute of Mental Health, and Annelle Primm, M.D., MPH, director of minority and national affairs for the American Psychiatric Association.

depression: out of the shadowsNAMI is the national outreach partner for the program, which is a production of Twin Cities Public Television (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and WGBH Boston. YMCA of the USA is the community outreach partner. The project is part of TAKE ONE STEP, a broader PBS Health Campaign which previously has addressed heart disease and obesity.

In addition to the documentary, the project will feature a destination Web site at PBS.org, and a nationwide promotional campaign targeting print, broadcast, and online media. Educational outreach will include screenings and panel discussions in major cities and on college campuses, and Web-based resources on depression. The summits organized by local PBS stations will encourage mental health providers to strategize with public and private institutions.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that approximately 18.8 million American adults have a depressive disorder. The disease is not discriminating, seeping into all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Depression stalls careers, strains relationships, and sometimes ends lives.

The documentary that precedes the panel weaves the science and treatment of depression with intimate portrayals of families and individuals living with its effects. Personal stories include:

  • Andrew Solomon, award-winning journalist and author of Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which examines the disorder in personal, cultural, and scientific terms.
  • A professor at Yale University, retired surgeon and National Book Award winner, who claims that ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) was a lifesaving treatment in his personal battle with depression.
  • A Minneapolis mother who experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her first child.
  • A successful African American PR executive who made the difficult choice to go public with her depression, challenging stigma and reaching out to young people at risk.
  • A young gang member battling depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, who is receiving therapy and encouraging kids to choose a positive path.
  • A top-level, workaholic CEO, who successfully reentered the business world he thought he’d forever lost.
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