Psychology and Clinical Depression become Mandatory Subjects for Students
- Parents, People suffering from Depression
The biggest risk for people in Australia is depression and suicide. And part of the reason why is nobody knows how to deal with it. Kids these days, when their friend shows all the symptoms of depression, will either tell them to "Get over it" or "Things could be worse" or "Here's what you should do". All with good intentions, but these are the WORST things you can say to someone with depression. But I only know that because I was trained in Psychology how to treat, and also, I myself was treated for depression.
It's really concerning that our country doesn't educate high school students to deal with the biggest health risk in Australia, and many leave high school still thinking Depression just means "Being depressed" rather than a mental health disease that affects people's brain-chemistry, and is a higher risk in developed countries than undeveloped countries. Meanwhile, kids growing up here are always told to "Appreciate what you have" and "Things were much harder for your parents", "You are very privileged" and "Think of all the starving uneducated kids in the world that would want what you have", but this, again, only enhances feelings of depression. Truth is, people are undeveloped countries are much more mentally healthy than people here. That's because, for us, just being alive is NOT an accomplishment. We grow up without any sort of fulfillment because there was no real physical risk to failure. This also creates weaker social bonds in our community compared to the undeveloped countries. We live in a society that perpetuates the idea that having money, education, voting, access to food and clean water, etc. all the privileges of our society should make us grateful. But if that were the case, then why is suicide so high. Even famous celebrities, who are supposed to have everything we want, are susceptible to depression and commit suicide. This isn't because they're "whiny" or seeking attention, having everything you want and not having to struggle is what causes depression in the first place. The same can be seen with soldiers returning from overseas. Most of the time when these soldiers experience depression isn't because of the trauma's they experience (though that is the case for those with PTSD), but many actually miss it for the sense of purpose and fulfillment they accomplish in the army, and for the bonds of friendship they make with their units - and returning to a society which is mostly individualistic and no such bonds are needed, they feel alone and lose that sense of fulfillment and purpose.
These are things students should be learning about. So that when they become adults and start voting, they'll be guided by the knowledge of how important mental health issues are in this country, and how to deal with it when their close friends and family have depression.
This kind of awareness starts at school. Not as some one-off guest speaker at an assembly, but as a full-on mandatory subject like English or Maths that students take exams and assessments on.
To get enough attention so that someone in Government might consider making Psychology and in particular the parts about Clinical Depression mandatory to Secondary School's educational program as much as English or Maths, and not just an elective or one-off school assembly.
The Psychology and Clinical Depression become Mandatory Subjects for Students petition to Parents, People suffering from Depression was written by Jeremy Girvan and is in the category Education at GoPetition.