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MAPP seeks funding to fight depression in LGBT community

Chris Azzopardi

Depressed? You're not alone.
LGBT people are three times more likely to suffer from depression than those outside of the community, said Craig Covey, CEO of the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.
"Besides reducing the quality of life for folks suffering (with) depression, we also believe that depression can influence other behaviors, including substance abuse, alcoholism, other addictions, and risky sexual behavior including HIV/AIDS risk," he said.
MAPP is seeking support for the creation of a social marketing campaign to raise awareness of depression in the LGBT community, including the associated symptoms and effects on people suffering from the condition.
"We hope to destigmatize the issue, and provide information on referrals and treatment," Covey said. "Depression is prevalent, serious, and yet is quite treatable."
MAPP's consultant therapist John Leone recommends a combination of therapy and medication to gradually overcome what most people don't even bother to treat.
"There's unfortunately still a lot of shame and embarrassment with depression, which undoubtfully contributes to that problem," Leone said. "A lot of people still seem to have a need or a tendency to be very secretive."
Leone finds that many LGBT people, suffering from remaining closeted, experience some repression. This may lead to depression or, if they already are, the condition snowballs.
"(Being gay is) a lot different than it was 25 years ago, but even with that there's still a lot of shame," he said.
For more information, contact MAPP by calling (248) 545-1435.

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