The Bezzy Depression Community is enabling honest conversations among people with shared mental health experiences.
Living with depression can feel intensely lonely. Due to a lack of broader awareness and understanding as well as persistent stigmatization, talking about depression isn’t always easy.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are more resources than ever to remind us that depression is not uncommon and that treatment is available. Despite how isolating depression can feel, countless others out there are living with and managing this condition, too – we just have to find them.
Bezzy Depression exists to help make that discovery easier. The platform provides people living with depression an opportunity for open discussion, one-on-one connection, and helpful resources to ensure that mental health isn’t a solitary pursuit.
Jarred Keller, who runs a popular mental health advocacy Instagram page, believes online communities can play a vital role when it comes to mental health. “It’s really cool to engage with people who are going through the same thing as you,” Keller says. “No one wants to feel like you’re doing it all on your own.”
Bezzy enables honest conversations among people with shared experiences. For those who have trouble finding opportunities to connect or share, the forums are a great avenue toward vulnerability and validation.
Keller’s own journey was long and winding, but looking back, he says making the choice to talk about his mental health on social media was one of the best things he has ever done.
The Bezzy Depression platform — which is 100% free — creates an opportunity for individuals to come together as a community to share stories and support each other.
Dani De Boulay, an advocate for women of color in the workplace, believes the vibrancy and diversity of the Bezzy community are key parts of what makes it special.
“Community is not conformity,” says De Boulay. “Community is about curiosity. It’s about collaboration, diversity, and empathy.”
De Boulay embarked on a path of more conscious community-building several years ago, after a series of setbacks caused her to reexamine longstanding assumptions about her life and career. She chose to embrace curiosity and intentionally seek out healthy communities as part of this new stage and hasn’t looked back since.
Bezzy Depression enables individuals to interact with each other in two main ways: group discussions and one-on-one conversations.
The group discussions take place across 10 different forums focused on topics ranging from medications and treatments to therapy, daily routines, stress management, and more. There are also daily live discussions led by a community guide held Monday through Friday. These text-based conversations revolve around a specific daily topic and start at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET).
One-on-one conversations happen through the mobile app’s match feature, which matches you with members of the community every day at 12:00 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET). You have the choice to instantly connect with online members or opt out of the match function if you’d prefer.
The match function, group discussions, and forums are all designed to help people find others with whom they relate, whether or not their situations are exactly the same.
“We’re all connected, and we’re all designed to help other people,” says De Boulay. “I have certain designs and gifts to help other people, and so does every other individual.”
In addition to community conversations, Bezzy Depression provides a “discover” section that provides a mix of personal stories, industry news related to depression, and other helpful content.
“I like hearing other peoples’ stories,” Keller says. “Even statistics are helpful. All of it makes me feel better, and reminds me that depression is not as abnormal as I think it is. We can tend to think something is wrong with us, but that’s just not true.”
Every article published in the discover section is reviewed by medical professionals, and topics range from self-care, relationships, and managing depression to the latest mental health news and treatment developments.
Altogether, the community is meant to remind people that depression is not the “abnormal” stigmatized condition that society can sometimes make it out to be.
The registration process for Bezzy is simple and straightforward. All you need is an e-mail address and a username, which can be anything you want. The anonymity allows for a greater degree of vulnerability, while professional moderation ensures conversations stay relevant.
To those who are still hesitant to reach out for help or share with others, Keller adds a note of encouragement: “It might be scary but I promise you, everything gets better once you open up.”
Fact checked on July 11, 2022
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