Millions of American children experience persistent sadness and hopelessness. They may withdraw from friends and family, perform poorly in school, act out in anger or stop participating in activities they once enjoyed. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is trying to get the word out that these children may be suffering from a serious illness called depression.
Childhood Depression Awareness Day (also known as Green Ribbon Day) which will be supported in communities throughout the country. Promoted around the theme "What's the Matter?" Childhood Depression Awareness Day is designed to educate parents, teachers and other caregivers about the widespread occurrence of depression among American youth.
"Children can and do get depressed," said Laurie Flynn, NAMI executive director. "But by intervening early and providing appropriate education and support, we literally can save lives."
As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents may suffer from depression, according to statistics released by the U.S. Center for Mental Health Services. Moreover, if left untreated, the results of depression can be fatal, including suicide-the leading cause of death among adolescents.
Supported by the leading national mental health and advocacy organizations, national Childhood Depression Awareness Day seeks to increase public awareness of depression in youth and serve as a call to action to help eradicate this highly treatable illness.