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Depressions Let's TalkThe countdown is on! Tomorrow is not only Friday but also World Health Day. Each year on April 7, we celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, with a unique opportunity to create action around a particular health topic concerning people all over the world. The 2017 World Health Day theme is depression.

You may be surprised to learn that depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. WHO estimates that more than 300 million people are living with depression, that’s increase of more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. Although the disease is very preventable and treatable, there is a stigma and lack of support that keeps those affected from getting the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

The World Health Organization is determined to make a change by implementing the year-long campaign called, “Depression: let’s talk.”

Depression can affect anyone of any age, gender or social status, so the campaign is essentially for everyone. However, WHO has chosen to pay special attention to three age groups: adolescents and young adults, women of childbearing age and older adults over the age of 60.

Depression can cause severe mental distress and have a great impact on people’s ability to complete even seemingly simple tasks. If left untreated, it can prevent people from working and participating in daily life activities, but at worst, can lead to suicide.

Fortunately, talking with trusted confidants can often times be the first step towards recovery. The ongoing problem; however, is the fact that many of us don’t know the best way to respond to depression, but solutions are available.

The World Health Organization has put together a plethora of resources to get all of us talking about depression. Consider taking some time to learn more about the mental illness and how you can help those living with “the black dog.”

If you would like to learn more about the WHO 2017 theme of depression, visit the campaign page and find out how to get involved. Together, we can overcome the stigma often associated with depression, leading more people to seek the help they need to succeed.

Happy World Health Day from Lions Pride!