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Addressing Depression in Memory of Grayson Murray

Dark portrait featuring golf ball and trophy, addressing depression as a tribute to Grayson Murray

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Last weekend, PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray took his own life, succumbing to the pressures of depression. He had been battling this and other demons for years, and his family thought he was past these negative thoughts and impulses. Sadly, he was not.

At A Brighter Day Charity (www.abrighterday.info), we have been helping teens and their families with stress and depression resources for more than eight years, with the goal of stopping teen suicide. We began this charity following the suicide of our son, Jake Kallen, in 2015, at age 19.

I can imagine that Murray had been dealing with depression for a long time, just like so many teens. Unexplained sadness, poor sleep patterns, poor eating habits, withdrawal from social activities, school, job, family, and more. This is a silent epidemic that has swept across the United States and is now touching up to 50% of all high school students. With approximately 35 million high school students, just imagine the stress, depression, and overall negativity that is creeping into the minds of our young people. If not taken care of properly, this issue can pervasively affect future generations.

Recognizing Symptoms of Depression

What can you do as a parent, a friend, a family member, or even for yourself if you notice any of the following symptoms?

  • Withdrawal from friends, society at large, school, job, family, and social activities
  • A total change in sleep patterns
  • A change in eating habits
  • Unexplained sadness or anger
  • Unexplained moodiness
  • Feeling more tired than ever
  • A feeling of hopelessness and pessimism

Whether one is 13 or 83, these feelings and changes can take over one’s life. Inaction is not a solution. Here are a few ideas, especially as we enter the summer, school is out, and this should be a season of fun:

Action Steps to Address Depression

  • Speak with a doctor. They can provide referrals, help, and medication.
  • Engage with your teen or adult. Have great dinners with no cell phones in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Don’t try to “fix” your “broken” teen, friend, or child. Just listen.
  • Use car rides as conversation time. When driving to activities, don’t put the radio on, use cell phones, or wear earbuds. Use this time to engage without being judgmental.
  • Take a walk once a week. Our brains are trained to talk and walk at the same time. No cell phones.
  • Utilize our Teen Crisis Text Line. Teens prefer texting as their method of communication. Just text BRIGHTER to 741741 to communicate with a trained professional 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s free.
  • Seek Zoom Counseling. Faster than in-person counseling, and we will cover the cost of three months of sessions. See our website for details. We never want a parent to have to choose between putting food on the table or getting help for their teen.
  • In-person counseling. Though I am a big fan, it can take up to 8 weeks to arrange the first appointment. Teens in crisis need immediate attention!
  • Explore our online resources. Become familiar with all the incredible resources on our website, all free, at www.abrighterday.info.
  • Join our monthly Zoom meetings for parents. Held the last Thursday of each month, and attend our live event on June 9th in Walnut Creek, CA.

This is not a time to be a spectator when your loved ones are nearing a crisis. Come visit us or call 800-832-1273. We are here for you!

Elliot Kallen
President

SMALL DONATION, BIG IMPACT.

GIVE 11$ MONTHLY AND CHANGE THE WORLD ONE TEEN AT A TIME.

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