The chances are we all know someone who is affected by depression at times in their life — and that means we are all indirectly affected by it. Moreover, we don’t always quite know how to help.
Usually all we can do is be a good friend.
Thus today we are going on a slightly different journey than is usual on this blog. I am delighted to introduce my friend, fellow speculative fiction enthusiast, Catie Morrison, to tell us about her recently launched social enterprise called Doing Defies Depression.
Catie is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart the initiative, which aims to help people living with depression in a number of ways.
Here’s Catie in response to a few questions I put to her…
Tell us about Doing Defies Depression
Doing Defies Depression is all about helping people improve their quality of life while living with depression. We don’t aim to treat your depression — hopefully there are other people in your life doing that! — but to provide services alongside treatment to make life better now, instead of waiting until you’re cured. These services include things like laughing yoga sessions, lifestyle courses, and the opportunity to express oneself through writing.
What makes DDD a social enterprise?
Technically speaking, a social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in human and/or environmental well-being, rather than maximising profits. Practically speaking, the funds for DDD’s work have to come from somewhere. I like to think of social enterprises as having two arms: a revenue-generating arm and a social action arm. DDD’s revenue-generating arm is an online store, though we are crowdfunding at present to kickstart the enterprise.
Why is helping people suffering from depression so important to you?
Like many people, I’ve lived with depression — in fact, it’s had a great impact on my life. However, that’s not the only reason I feel so passionately about this issue. The suffering associated with depression is so severe, so debilitating, and yet often invisible; for some reason, that has always resonated with me deeply. As a teenager, years before my first diagnosis, I’d visit patients in the local psychiatric hospital, offering a bit of company and a glimpse of the world outside their illness. Living with severe depression is like being in a dark dungeon. I want to offer a bit of light and warmth.
What’s been the reaction to DDD among the community?
It’s been wonderful! I’ve been handing out free lollies and information at my local railway station, and everyone who strikes up a conversation has a depression story — their own or someone else’s. They love the idea of improving someone’s quality of life while still depressed. The community based around DDD’s Facebook page is growing, too, with some wonderful conversations and connections being made.
How hard was it to get a Pozible crowdfunding campaign going?
The mechanics of starting a Pozible campaign are quite simple, and the support staff are great; but to create a campaign with a good chance of success took months of planning, negotiating, organising, negotiating, networking, negotiating… The campaign would be dead in the water if it weren’t for the help and support of friends and family. I’m very grateful for that. Oh, and a tip for would-be campaigners: try not to have a medical emergency requiring surgery in the middle week of your campaign! Being out of action for seven days is not constructive. My campaign lost a lot of traction there.
Spec Fiction novel? I couldn’t split these two: “Cordelia’s Honor” by Lois McMaster Bujold, and “Only Forward” by Michael Marshall Smith
Travel destination? The far north coast of NSW, or anywhere else with beautiful tall trees
Time-out activity? Watching TV – I call it “electronic valium”!
Music? Bach violin concertos
Source of inspiration? My personal credo, based on the closing lines of Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound”: that each moment is worth living, and that I can choose “to hope till Hope creates / From its own wreck the thing it contemplates”.
Please consider making a pledge to Catie’s Doing Defies Depression Pozible crowdfunding campaign via credit card or PayPal. Deadline is 7 December – 14 days to go! Target to raise is $10K.
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