Dr. Tiffany Stoner-Harris has 25 years of experience in the mental health field. 

“We often think of depression as tied to emotions alone. I think it’s important for people to begin to understand that there are physiological implications of depression,” Stoner-Harris said. She said depression goes beyond sadness. 

“It can overtake someone’s life,” Harris-Stoner said. Depression is a leading cause of suicide, and often those most at risk give a warning cry that should never be ignored. 

“We hear it, but we don’t want to hear it. We want to minimize it as the listener,” Stoner-Harris said.  She said all threats must be taken seriously. It’s also important to know what questions to ask. 

“Do they have a plan? Do they have access to the resources they are planning to use?” Stoner-Harris said. There’s another warning sign to watch for. 

“If you notice they’re giving things away, if you notice withdrawn behavior, they’re isolating more, they’re not engaged in the activities they were previously engaged in,” Stoner-Harris said.  “Assure them that you’re here, that you’re there for them. That you’ll stay with them if they need you to. Ask them what they need.” Stoner-Harris said what they may need is guidance to help them cope. 

“Some people are able to manage their depression through talk therapy. Some people need to manage their depression through psychotropic medications,” Stoner-Harris said. You can also be a resource. 

“Being that person who can sometimes, not just listen, but also physically be present for someone when they need to go to appointments, when they need someone to express their concerns,” Stoner-Harris said.  The Quad Cities area has resources like agencies and community health centers including Vera French Community Mental Health Center and the Robert Young Center.