How does depression impact families?

How does depression impact families?

Depression in men is a serious issue. With male suicide rates running at around 1600 men every year and rates of depression and anxiety considerably greater, it is one of the major challenges faced by the community of health practitioners.

But what is less visible is the ongoing strain on family members coping with depression and anxiety in their partners (male or female) or even their children.

I was really struck by the Family Focus resources provided by COPMI (Children Of Parents With Mental Illness). You can have a look at the program on the website.

Although it is a long video at nearly an hour, the DVD footage really captures the dynamics within family life of what depression in men looks like and how it plays out in a man who also has to balance unemployment (in the case of ‘Carl’ who is the subject of the first segment), being a husband, father and former soccer coach with all the expectations placed on him by his wife and children.

All credit to the folks who stopped to ask him if he was OK but to me, his interactions with the would-be helpers shows how the stereotype of ‘men won’t talk’ looks in real life.

The DVDs are available to professionals only after they have completed the e-learning course, as it is part of a professional program for clinicians.

You can view the DVD footage here.

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