TED Talk (Blog 10)

4 Simple Words Saved His Life

During this TED Talk, Kevin Breel talks about the stigma associated with depression. Kevin doesn’t look like a depressed kid – on the surface, he is the captain of his basketball team, comedian, English student of the year, honor roll student, funny, confident, and attended every party. However, he was living two different lives. On the inside he was depressed and considered taking his own life until he said to himself, “I suffer from depression.”

I want to apologize that this topic is not the most uplifting and is difficult to talk about for most people. However, that needs to change. “The first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is one,” but society hasn’t recognized this one. Depression is a serious illness. Every 30 seconds, someone somewhere in the world takes his or her life.

Mental health illnesses have always held a stigma within our society. In the past, people with mental health illnesses were declared crazy and put into a mental hospital. Our society has made great strides in developing cures and creating awareness for so many diseases, except mental health. One part of Kevin’s talk that stood out to me is at minute 6:30. It is at this point where he discusses society’s view on the topic of depression.

“So how we can we expect to find an answer if we are afraid of the question?”

In one of my other courses, we have been discussing public health. Throughout our existence we have gone through numerous stages of public: protection through social structure, miasma control, contagion control, preventive medicine, primary health care, and health promotion. Since the 1990’s we have been in the health promotion stage of public health evolution, which has been characterized as “new public health.” It is in this stage where we need to build health public policy, create supportive environments, strengthen community action, develop personal skills, and reorient health services to better fit our needs. In order to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health illnesses, especially depression, we first need to categorize it as a disease.

Awofeso, Niyi. “What’s New About the “New Public Health”?” American Journal of Public Health 94.5 (2004): 706. Print.

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5 thoughts on “4 Simple Words Saved His Life

  1. It probably took a tremendous amount of courage for Kevin Breel to make this Ted Talk. I agree with you in that mental health issues are still stigmatized in society; however, I think the Bucknell community is making serious strides to make psychological health a topic that people can openly discuss. From the INstallments to Psych Services an Active Minds Club the University helps create an environment that supports those who are suffering from depression.

  2. I have seen this Ted Talk before, and it is striking. I think it shows that society doesn’t have a good grasp of what depression looks like. Kevin Breel said he was captain of his basketball team, social and outgoing. That does not sound like a depressed person to me. I think that becoming more aware of the signs of depression and how to talk about it will hopefully lessen the number of cases.

  3. I wonder how much we re evolving on mental health. I say this as I have seen people discuss how much of homelessness in the USA is basically people with mental health problems who used to be in state institutions, but, as those were closed throughout the 1980s, that population moved onto the streets.

  4. I think a major part in this education needs to be helping others to understand the signs, regardless of how small they might be. In order to help those who are depressed, we as a community need to be more aware and understand when we should do something

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