DR. WALLACE: We love our son very much and want to support him in every way, and he seems to be very depressed lately. When we asked about it, he told us he was unsure of its value to society. He sort of seems to think that nothing he does is good enough and nothing matters because he can’t change the world on his own.
Our family love him and hate to see him suffer for any reason; we would like to help him.
Our son is a good student and an exceptional athlete. Is there an organization or group that our family can contact as a starting point to see what professional help may be available? – Concerned mother, by e-mail
MOTHER CONCERNED: Yes, there are many services available for you and your family. Immediately talk to other parents, family and friends to see what experiences they may have had with depressed people in their lives. Your close circle of friends and family can often be supportive and recommend a variety of local resources that could be of great value to your son and family.
I also know of a national organization that you can contact immediately to gather information and possibly get local references. Go to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) at this web address: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
The SAMHSA National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7/365 treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental health and / or addiction issues.
This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups and community organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
It is a government agency and its referral service is free for those who request it. Their national helpline is (800) 662-HELP (800 662-4357.)
For people without insurance or underinsured, this organization will direct you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, they can often direct you to establishments that charge tapering rates or accept Medicare or Medicaid. For those with health insurance, we encourage you to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
The services provided are confidential and no personal information will be requested. This helpline is staffed with trained specialists who answer calls, transfer callers to public services or other appropriate drop-in centers in their states, and connect them to local assistance and support.
Thanks for proactively writing to us here. My team and I recommend that you get in touch with this organization immediately and research any other leads that you can collect locally from your family and friends. Mental health issues like depression should be taken very seriously and addressed directly as quickly as possible. We wish you success on your journey to help your son and your family.
TEENS: On this day, Americans witnessed the best and the worst of humanity 20 years ago in New York, Washington, DC and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Every teenager alive today was not yet born when the sun went down on that terrible day.
I encourage all of you to remember and honor the many fallen first responders and law enforcement heroes who have faced great danger, as well as the compassionate ordinary citizens and their families who have helped each other on this day. fateful and throughout the two decades that followed.