Conversation for a Cause: Hope for Depression Research Foundation

The leading depression research organization hosted its inaugural Next Generation symposium in Palm Beach to build awareness about mental health among younger folk.
Hope For Depression’s Next Generation Symposium. Photography: Capehart Photography

On the back of the current unprecedented mental health crisis among teenagers and younger people in the United States, Hope for Depression Research Foundation had its inaugural Next Generation awareness-building symposium on October 6, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Centered around the topic “Teenagers and Depression: Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis,” the symposium featured leading experts in psychiatry, brain research and social work. 

Louisa Benton. Photography: Capehart Photography

“I was so inspired to see the interest and engagement around this very important topic,” said Louisa Benton, the executive director of HDRF, who moderated the talk. “Not only from our audience, but from the younger generation of students that were here, who shared personal experiences and posed inquisitive questions to our panelists.” 

Per recent statistics, more than one in three high school students has experienced sadness or hopelessness—a 40% increase since 2009—with suicide being the second leading cause of death for teens aged 15 to 19. More than half of parents and caregivers have expressed concern over their children’s mental well-being. 

Panelists Cristoph Anacker and Erinn F. Beck. Photography: Capehart Photography
Panelists Wei-li Chang and Anthony Trucks. Photography: Capehart Photography

The talk addressed this, and explored vital topics including how to identify depression in teenagers, real-life experiences with mental health, how social media contributes to the rise of depression among our youth, and what to do if you think someone you know is experiencing depression or anxiety. 

“We hope that through more conversations like this, we can continue to educate schools and students to help our adolescents in need and remove the stigma that surrounds depression and other mood related disorders,” said Benton.

Hope for Depression Foundations’s Next Generation Symposium. Photography: Capehart Photography