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This Tuesday I will have the privilege of being the key note speaker for a Rotary Club awards dinner, (RYLA) Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. These days I am being told by so many people about teens that are suffering from depression and even worse seeing news articles and stories about teens dying from depression. It is very very sad that we are living in age were our youth see no other way out of there sadness, there problems, there loneliness but to take their own lives. Once again the stigma behind depression is hard at work and it needs to be broken.

Better things need to start happening with the way teens are being treated for depression and the way we as adults deal with our youth in general. It seems to me that we have forgotten just what our youth is capable of doing. That our futures depend on our children’s hopes and dreams. We have to start teaching them the right things as far as open conversation goes .We have to stop thinking the way our parents thought, that the way they tough us was right. We have to start listening to our children and start working with them to help them find a clearer path to follow in life. Not dictate to them and in doing so stop there growth as people but listen to them and offer advice. The children of today are faced with so much more than we were every face with never mind our parents to whom we model our skills after... Heck my 9 year old can already operate a cell phone better than I can, search out Lego videos on Youtube and find movies on net flicks. Never mind the impact of social media and facebook has on our teens.

On Tuesday I will do my talk and then I will open the floor to questions from the youth, I will answer their questions honestly and truthfully just like how I wrote my book. I will then sign books that the Rotary club purchased for them and I will sit down with these kids and I will do a very scary thing I am going to listen to them and let them share their stories with me and in doing so I am going to show them that open conversation is nothing to be afraid of.. My hopes will be that these young people will not stop talking, they will go on to have open conversations with their friends, with their parents break the stigma!

The only way we can change the way people view mental illness is to talk about it. They only way we can bring up our children so they don’t feel trapped is to teach them that we can listen to them and learn from them as they can from us.

Doing this will break the stigma behind depression and mental illness if we just learn to listen to the youth of today and actually talk with them there is a great chance that things can and will change! In amazing ways!

Wish me luck! This will be the largest group I have ever spoken in front but it will also be the most exciting thing I have done to date since the release of my book!

“Only with open conversation can we kill the stigma behind depression, Let’s start talking and kill it


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