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Depression: True Stories


Untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide. Three young adults, including professional basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw, describe living with depression, their thoughts of suicide, and their recovery. They tell how early diagnosis and treatment can transform and save lives. With discussion guide. 26 minutes. Recommended for grades 6 through college, parents, and other caregivers. Contact us about streaming this video. Discussion Guide available on DVD or download here.

View excerpt:


We offer half-day and full-day trainings in the best use of Depression: True Stories. Read here.

What People Are Saying...

"Depression: True Stories provides compelling first person accounts of the suffering associated with this life threatening illness - depression. At the same time, it inspires hope about the power of treatment. It is certain to educate adolescents, young adults, parents, other caregivers, and health care professionals about a serious illness that can and should be treated."
Paula K. Rauch, M.D. Director, Child Psychiatry Consultation Service to Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

"... a well-produced inspiring & educational product focused on a very important public health issue."
Jason H. Padgett, MPA, Field Development Coordinator, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA)



Institutional use/Group viewing

Depression: True Stories and Words Can Work: When Talking About Depression and Other Mental Health Disorders were released January 16th at an Educational Forum at the Massachusetts State House. This successful Forum was attended by more than 350 providers, policymakers, advocates, educators, parents, and others who work with youth. Co-sponsors were the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Partners HealthCare. Attendees received packages of materials to use with young people and families in their communities.

Read the transcript of our Educational Forum.


What people are saying:
"We have found Depression: True Stories to be a great resource for our Field Liaison network. It is a well-produced inspiring & educational product focused on a very important public health issue." Jason H. Padgett, MPA, Field Development Coordinator, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA)

"The DVD Depression: True Stories and Words Can Work booklets will be valuable assets to our outreach nationally. We reach a broad, diverse population that will truly benefit from the powerful messages in these resources." Bernice Humphrey, Associate Director, Programming and Training Services, Girls Incorporated

"Counselors are always seeking valuable materials to utilize to facilitate groups and make a difference in the lives of youth. As a counselor, I was thrilled as I viewed the video, Depression: True Stories. It is my belief that students will be able to connect to the video and be inspired to do what it takes to live healthy and address their mental health issues. Job well done to all involved. I will definitely purchase other DVD's from Words Can Work." Donna Hankins, Counselor, Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr/Sr High School

"I recently used Depression: True Stories in a sophomore health class about depression. The students were engaged and the stories seemed to help them get a good understanding of what it is really like to suffer with depression vs. just going over symptoms and warning signs. It is a tool we will use in health and wellness classes for years to come." Kim Fahlen, MFT, Director of Student Counseling, The Branson School

"We reviewed Depression: True Stories and we love it!" Ashawnda Fleming, MS, Chief Operating Officer, National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

"The booklet looks great ... the DVD... Really good presentation and messages!!" Karen Kraft, Publications Coordinator
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


"Depression: True Stories is absolutely phenomenal. I used it in an after-school program as a part of one of my presentations that I normally do when I talk to teenagers about the topic of depression and suicide. I believe that it captures the knowledge about depression and how to help others or even recognize the signs in an individual. Keep up the great work." Andrea Davis, Riverwood Center

"Many student athletes feel pressure to be mentally tough. This may be one reason that those with depression often hesitate to ask for help. The powerful testimonials in Depression: True Stories and the Words Can Work booklet remind us that asking for help is a sign of tremendous courage and strength. I encourage coaches, athletic directors and educators to view and discuss these valuable resources with their athletes so those who need and deserve lifesaving treatment for depression will be more likely to receive it." Coach Pat Summitt, The University of Tennessee Lady Vols

"Depression: True Stories is captivating - very powerful. We feature the DVD and the Words Can Work: When Talking About Depression booklets in workshops for parents who find the stories in these resources to be honest, courageous and educational." Jon Mattleman, Director, Needham Youth Commission

"The DVD Depression: True Stories and its companion book Words Can Work: When Talking About Depression use a very effective, common sense, low key approach that genuinely opens the door for someone with depression to speak and ask for help. Also, it guides someone around a person that is depressed to get help for that individual who may be suicidal." Peggy Moses, NAMI Massachusetts


Examples of how the DVD Depression: True Stories and Words Can Work booklets are used:

Depression: True Stories and the Words Can Work booklet are featured in corporate EAP and Work/Life programs to raise employees' knowledge about depression and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

The Sidney R. Baer Jr. Foundation, 3M Foundation and John W. Alden Trust sponsored the distribution of Depression: True Stories and Words Can Work: When Talking About Depression and Other Mental Health Disorders to national mental health, parenting, youth and education organizations.

Massachusetts General Hospital provided Massachusetts' 50 school-based clinics with Depression: True Stories and Words Can Work booklets, and sponsored a training to support clinical staff in identifying depression in youth.

Partners HealthCare Psychiatry is distributing the DVD and booklets to the Boston Public Schools and providing a train for staff in their use.

Faculty at the University of South Carolina, California State University Fullerton, Harvard Medical School, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, have incorporated the DVD and Words Can Work booklets into their curricula and various other educational settings.

National organizations with crisis hotlines, such as SPAN USA Field Liaisons, use the DVD and Words Can Work booklets in volunteer trainings.

Depression: True Stories was screened to an enthusiastic response at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. Regional delegates are using the DVD and Words Can Work booklet in their community outreach and said they knew of no similar educational tools.

Depression: True Stories and the Words Can Work booklet are integrated into after-school programs.

Middle, high schools, and colleges nationally have incorporated the DVD and Words Can Work booklets into curricula to raise students' awareness of mental illness.

The DVD and Words Can Work booklets are featured in parent workshops sponsored by national mental health organizations including Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Suicide Prevention Action Network, and Mental Health America affiliates.

The Words Can Work booklets are distributed at national and regional conferences where Depression: True Stories is screened by professionals.

The DVD and Words Can Work booklets are used in clinical settings by therapists and other providers to educate parents and youth.



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