The Students Against Depression story starts with the sad loss of two bright young men to suicide. Their families invested in this project to reach out to other people suffering the effects of depression and suicidal thinking.
A website by students, for students
1 in 4 of us will experience some kind of mental health problem in our lifetime. 1 in 10 will experience depression, or anxiety with depression, in any one year. This statistic holds true for students and young people, who are at even greater risk than the general population. Depression is one of the biggest dangers facing young people today – suicide is the biggest killer of young men under 35 in the UK.
Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources it presents the experiences, strategies and advice of students themselves – after all, who better to speak to their peers about how depression can be overcome?
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, who established the site in 2005, is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Students Against Depression campaign.
Student Minds and Students Against Depression last year collaborated to produce Positive Minds, a six-week course designed to give students the skills they need to keep low mood at bay. You can find out more about their work by visiting www.studentminds.org.uk
The Philosophy of Students Against Depression
At Students Against Depression, we acknowledge the devastating impact that depression can have on those experiencing it, as well as on their friends, family and supporters. We view depression holistically, realising that every aspect of a person’s experience of life has the potential to be affected, including at a relational, social, professional, functional and existential level. We acknowledge that depression kills people, but believe that with the right approach, it can be combated. We believe there is hope.
Believing in the Potential for Change
We present depression in a way that positions those affected by it with strategies for change to help mitigate, reduce or eliminate the impact depression has on their life. The content of this site will:
- talk about how depression ‘affects’ people, rather than talking about ‘depressed people’
- explore a range of explanations for depression: what we know and what we understand
- address depression in terms of ways of thinking or doing things that can be changed or modified
- understand things about or society and culture that can shape and influence depression
- highlight actions that can make a positive difference
- present real people’s experiences of depression, as well as flagging steps they have taken that have worked for them
Help Through Shared Experience
We do not believe in a ‘them and us’ with respect to depression: we all have mental health that can be strong, vulnerable, resilient or fractured at different times for different reasons. We believe we are all in this together.
We know from research that having an opportunity to hear another person’s experience, even if slightly different from our own, can help us begin to believe that change might be possible. One of the biggest difficulties of being depressed is the crushing feeling of isolation and loneliness that can underpin every minute of every day. studentsagainstdepression.com is where you can share your experiences, as well as hearing those experiences of others. We believe that information is key: knowing what to do, how to do it, when to do it and who can help (or how we can help others) can be transformational for the good.
If you would like to upload a short (up to one minute) video of yourself talking about how you cope with depression and/or anxiety, as a positive step to supporting others, please email for further details.