Two Czech teens want to talk about depression

Two young women have created an Instagram campaign to help young Czechs with depression and suicidal tendencies.

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Two Czech teens want to talk about depression - NewsMavens
Sad girl, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

The Czech Republic has a higher suicide rate than the EU and the world average. Among young people between 15-29 years suicide is the second leading cause of death. Teenagers and young adults often feel isolated and crushed beneath the weight of their responsibilities.

The founders of the Instagram initiative “We are in this together” Hedvika Dočekalová and Kateřina Coufalová want this to change.

The initiative attracted more than five thousand young people in two weeks. After Dočekalová posted her story about living with depression and anxiety on Facebook, people began to share their own struggle. The post had more than 300 comments -- mostly young men and women sending support and sharing their issues. This led Dočekalová and Coufalová -- who also suffered from depression -- to create an Instagram account to help others begin their healing process.

Details from the story:

  • Hundreds of young Instagram users shared their problems.
  • The users were between 13 and 25 years of age.
  • Hedvika Dočekalová and Kateřina Coufalová write back to the people who post, encouraging them to share their problems with loved ones or to ask for professional help.
  • “We are not experts and don’t want to substitute them. Thanks to our work many people decided to make an appointment with psychologist or psychiatrist or finally to share problems with parents”, says Hedvika.
  • The founders of the initiative share the contact information of crisis lines or mental health organizations on their Instagram account.  
  • In their opinion one of the biggest problems that teenagers under 18 need the consent of parents to regularly visit a psychologist or psychiatrist. Some parents underestimate their children's problems.
  • Many psychologists offer the possibility of an anonymous first visit, without informing the parents.
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