In episode 1 of True Champions Depression, we meet Julie Hersh. Julie is a wife, mother, author, advocate and philanthropist. Julie also lives with depression. What makes Julie Hersh a True Champion is her openness and steadfast work to help others living with depression find treatments that work well for them.
Julie’s depression first surfaced during her college years. During that time, mental health issues were not treated in the way they are today. Unfortunately, Julie ended up suffering through that first depression, eventually finding remission at the start of her career. It wasn’t until Julie was later married, and raising two young children that her depression returned. This time, Julie’s decline was swift and lead to multiple, unsuccessful suicide attempts.
Julie explains that depression is an illogical condition. It can affect anyone, without regard to their background or family history.
After treatment with ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy, Julie again entered a period of remission. It was then that she really began to advocate for others with mental illness. Julie wrote a book about her depression experience, and often gives talks and lectures to discuss her depression and the treatments that are available to help those people struggling with mental illness. Julie openly shares her experience in order to remove the stigma and shame undeservedly attached to mental illness. This courageous stance wasn’t always welcome in her family, but was one she insisted on taking to more honestly share her depression experience in order to help others struggling with the condition.
Julie is also a co-founder of the Hersh Foundation which works to cultivate future leaders and to promote mental health through innovative strategies.