Resources available for Utahns battling depression

By Brian Carlson

Published 08/12 2014 09:43PM

Updated 08/12 2014 10:14PM

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Severe depression affects many people in Utah. If you don't struggle with it yourself, odds are you know someone who does. ABC 4 Utah talked to mental health experts on Tuesday who said there is another way out, besides suicide.

"I really didn't feel much like living any more at all, and it's a dark place," said Jonathan Lavoie, suffers from depression.

Jonathan Lavoie of Sandy has battled depression most of his life. Like actor Robin Williams he's struggled with addictions, and like the actor, Lavoie has tried several times to commit suicide.

"You've reached a conclusion about what your life is and you matter of fact say this is the way it is and its not going to get better, and you're almost sure of yourself," said Lavoie.

Lavioe is one of thousands of Utahns fighting their inner demons. According to ABC news, a study in 2008 ranked Utah the most depressed state in the country, although if you talked to Utahns experiencing depression you may never know it.

"In a world that shames people about mental illness particularly about depression, that shames them, its hard to come forward and say this is more than the blues, I need more help,” said Dr. Katherine Supiano, Univ. of Utah, College of Nursing, Caring Connections.

Lavoie finally sought help last fall at the New Roads Treatment Center.

"You actually start to see that other people care about you, and you actually start to, it motivates you to look at yourself and value yourself," said Lavoie.

Lavoie knows the pain other people like him might be feeling, and wants them to know, Williams' choice to end his life, doesn't mean it needs to end that way for you.

"The way you feel is temporary and it can be solved and there is hope for you," said Lavoie.

If you or someone you know is battling depression, there are resources out there to help.

You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. A trained professional will answer the phone 24 hours a day.

You can also contact the University of Utah's Caring Connections program, or the New Roads Treatment Center. Click on the links to visit their websites.

Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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