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Depicting Depression & Suicide Prevention
Recognize that Depression is Treatable,
Suicide is Preventable, and Help is Available.

David Hall, CSI

“Anything that draws attention to the help and services that are out there is a positive thing in my eye... Dealing with [depression & suicide] in films and television programs is a very tough thing to do but when it’s done right it’s quite helpful.”


All too often individuals may find themselves experiencing symptoms of depression, and due to feelings of shame or uncertainty may decide not to seek out help or support.The first step in averting suicide is recognizing that depression is treatable and suicide is in fact preventable. Consider positioning your character in a scenario that showcases their realization that ending their life is not the only option, as well as highlighting the importance of seeking out help and support from others.

Consider the following when designing your characters and story lines that incorporate the topic of depression and suicide:
  • Thoughts of suicide are complex and suicidal behaviors are not immediate. Characters experiencing symptoms of depression or considering ending their life will be much more believable—and, therefore, make for more effective characters—if they are depicted with depth and profundity.
  • Professional psychiatric care, psychotherapy, and especially a combination of the two, can save lives when needed. Think about showcasing characters seeking out professional help when they need it.
Studies Show...

ID-10032629A type of psychotherapy called cognitive therapy has been shown to reduce the rate of repeated suicide attempts by 50 percent during a year of follow-up. Cognitive therapy helps individuals consider alternative actions when thoughts of self-harm arise. Specific kinds of psychotherapy may be helpful for specific groups of people. For example, in people with borderline personality disorder, a recent study showed that a treatment called dialectical behavior therapy reduced suicide attempts by half.

Which of these might show up in your next storyline?      

Learn More!                          

Portions of this newsletter adapted from 

PT Depression and Suicide Cover

Picture This:
Depression & Suicide Prevention
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Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is battling depression or thoughts
 of suicide 


1 800 273 TALK (8255) 

to speak with a counselor today! 

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Each Mind Matters is California's Mental Health Movement.  Each Mind Matters was created to unite all of us who share a vision of improved mental health and equality.  Our goal is to amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this mental health stigma, and to create a community where everyone feels comfortable asking for the help that they deserve.

"Each Mind Matters is millions of individuals and thousands of organizations working to advance mental health.  We are California's Mental Health Movement."

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