Isolated, Alone and in Danger
June 19, Douglas Janzen will leave his home in Chilliwack BC to ride a motorcycle alone and unsupported to Inuvik in Canada’s high arctic. His purpose is to bring attention to approximately one in eight youth in Canada who struggle with Clinical Depression feeling isolated and alone every day. Clinical Depression, often undiagnosed and untreated, is a leading cause of suicide.
Janzen is leaving on Fathers Day to ride for “all the Fathers who have children fighting depression” and expects to be home in early July. He will be travelling through one of Canada’s more remote areas where it is more common to see wild animals such as wolves and bears than to see another human. He will be isolated and alone in an area where even a minor mishap could have very serious consequences.
Douglas states that his journey is the physical representation of a mind troubled by Clinical Depression. “Everyone knows someone with Depression but nobody wants to talk about it,” says Douglas. “If people started to talk openly about Depression, those who battle it would be more likely to get proper treatment; the stigma would be reduced.” Many high achieving people such as Clara Hughes, Harrison Ford, Janet Jackson and Winston Churchill have successfully battled Clinical Depression.
Depression can be difficult to detect in teens but experts advise that “early diagnosis and aggressive treatment can be the difference between a full, normal, productive life or no life at all.” A family doctor can diagnose Clinical Depression very quickly but often parents don’t realize their children are struggling.
Parents of youth with Clinical Depression are challenged to find support and information that would help them deal with what their children are facing. FORCE Society (Families Organized for Recognition and Care Equality) provides families with an opportunity to speak with other families who understand and may be able to offer support or advice on what has worked for them. FORCE Society also works with professionals and serves as an advocate in this area of mental health
Douglas hopes his journey will encourage more open conversation about Depression and that people will contribute to FORCE Society. More information is available at www.forcesociety.com or on Janzen’s website www.road2blue.com where you can also follow his progress by satellite tracking.