Otherwise known as depression.
Depression is a big issue here in New Zealand, and actually 1 in 6 kiwis will struggle with extreme depression and thoughts of suicide. Which means that everyone probably knows someone that is really struggling with depression or they are themselves.
We (Student Life) don't pretend to be experts ourselves, but we felt this was a great opportunity to try and serve the campus and the student body by providing information about depression and how to practically help friends and family. Student Life hosted an event this past week where we brought in a panel including one counselor, psychologist, a youth pastor with personal experience, and a student who also struggles with depression personally.
Both Chris and Jeremy (the youth pastor and student) did a fantastic job of sharing their own stories with depression along with things friends and family were able to do to help. Whether it's making sure a friend is eating well, getting exercise, or even encouraging them to get further help from doctors or counselors. After they shared personally, it was Q & A time for the professionals. Students were able to text in their questions anonymously and I think that went very well. We actually had a lot more questions than we had time to answer.
Overall, the feedback from students that came was very positive. They found it helpful and informative. Both Christ and Jeremy were able to share how Christ has played a role in their journey. I think it was a great balance of helping students, Christian or not, but also providing a glimpse at our ultimate hope being in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for praying for this! Depression is something that has been heavy on our hearts and we really want to break through and be able to serve and love students by providing information and help. We are definitely hoping to do this again.