You never know what's behind a smile. This time of year can be tough for those with depression.

Steven Galinn from New Hartford has suffered in silence for many years with mental illness and having felt guilt and shame for his thoughts and emotions. He says staying silent was almost a means to his end.

Steven has been diagnosed and suffers from general anxiety disorder, severe depression and bi-polar disorder. He says he almost took his life and was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. "Not only was I hospitalized there and then, but I have been hospitalized five consecutive times for suicidal ideation, and that's not to mention all the times that I thought about suicide and never said a word."

Steven is hoping his story can help others suffering in silence. "It takes time to

Your value as a human being is immeasurable.

find the right care, the right medication and it takes a commitment to work to change your mindset, and stay alive. Your value as a human being is immeasurable."

Another reason for his silence was the fear of the social stigma of mental illness. As his situation became critical, Steven realized the greatest thing to fear was his own silence. "Ignorant People will think and speak about things they don't understand, but there is no stigma! I speak out of love and would not mislead anyone. I want people to know that despite the ignorance out there, hope is waiting for them in the hearts of caring, compassionate professionals who want the people who are hurting to step forward and realize that they can heal. They can prevail."

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC)
Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

Mobile Crisis Assessment Team (MCAT) at (315) 732-6228.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ~ Call 1-800-273-8255~ Available 24 hours

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