On the surface, Kevin Breel seemed like an exceptional high school student – smart, talented, athletic. But under the smiles and the success, Kevin was hiding a dark secret. Kevin suffers from depression. After contemplating suicide, Kevin realized that he had to reach out for help. Now, in an effort to erase the stigma associated with mental illness, Kevin is educating others about what it’s like to live with depression.
This week Kevin, an aspiring comic, was a guest on the TODAY Show, where he reflected on his recent TED Talk about suffering from depression. The TED Talk has gone viral, with over a million views on YouTube and TED.com, and is all the more impressive because Kevin gave the Talk when he was just nineteen years old – barely removed from the social and emotional pressures of high school.
Depression is the most common mental illness in the United States, directly affecting over 26% of the adult population and millions more indirectly (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). However, despite its prevalence, the stigma remains – something that this brave, self-aware advocate hopes his TED Talk will help change.
With such a large proportion of the country’s population suffering from depression, community-based services like The Women’s Center of Tarrant County’s General Counseling Services are critical to providing hope and support to those who are living with mental illness. The Women’s Center’s General Counseling Services provide counseling, a legal clinic, and a Helpline to those facing crisis, life transitions, or mental illness.
Today is National Depression Screening Day. Do you or someone you know suffer from depression or another mental illness? Reach out for help or offer a hand to your friend, relative, or acquaintance. The Women’s Center and other mental health providers in North Texas are here to provide hope and support.
To learn more about The Women’s Center’s General Counseling Services, click here.