Fact Sheet on Being Supportive to a Fraternity Brother with Depression
"Friendship is Essential to the Soul." - Omega Psi Phi Motto
As the motto says, our friendships feed our souls. Like a second family, our friends make us feel at home no matter where we are, and they’re in our corner when life gets tough. In fact, a friend can be a brother’s strongest ally in the battle against depression.
It’s normal for someone to feel sad after a death or when he’s sick, going through a breakup, struggling at work or school, or having money problems. But for some, the sadness doesn’t go away or keeps coming back. If the feeling lasts more than a few weeks or makes it hard to carry on with daily life, it may be depression.
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems, but it often goes unnoticed and untreated among African American men. We’re expected to be strong in a crisis, hide our sensitivities, and keep personal problems within the family. Some people think it’s weak for a man to admit to sadness or despair.
That kind of scorn can convince a brother to suffer in silence while the depression worsens. His life may start falling apart, and he may turn to drug abuse as a way to cope, or he may find other dangers that threaten liberty or even life. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among African Americans 15 to 24 years old, and it’s the sixteenth leading cause of death for all African Americans.
But a friend’s support and understanding tells a brother he’s not alone and can encourage him to seek help for his depression.
Below is a fact sheet provided by NIMHD and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Brother, You’re on My Mind is a partnership between NIMHD and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The initiative is intended to raise awareness of the mental health challenges associated with depression and stress that affect African American men and their families.