MADISON, Wis. - When young adults visit http://healthexperiencesusa.org/ they learn about depression, but the information doesn’t come from health care professionals, it comes in the words of young adults who have lived with depression.
“People want to hear from others who have actually experienced an illness,” said Dr. Nancy Pandhi, an assistant professor of family medicine and community health with UW Health.
“Experts have their own role in this in terms of helping with treatment and providing guidance, but really hearing people who have had the illness provides a different perspective and can be a message that is more believable overall," Pandhi said.
UW Health developed the website with the assistance of young adults who shared their stories of living with depression. The individuals are a diverse representation of society and each has a story that is different.
One of the individuals sharing their story on the website is a young man from Madison, Colin. He said a website like this would have helped him when he was struggling to find help.
“If there was a site that I found where I could see other people, face to face or hear them vocalize their own personal experiences that would have meant a lot to me," Colin said.
Colin said the words of the young adults on the website let others know there is help, and they are not alone.
“You don’t have to be going through this the way you are doing it, alone and scared,” Colin said.
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