NJ man shares battle with depression to help young adults

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. And reaching out to those suffering from depression has become the mission of a man from Burlington County. (WPVI)

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24.

And reaching out to those suffering from depression has become the mission of a man from Burlington County.

Twenty-three-year-old Drew Bergman of Mount Holly, New Jersey, is a senior at Temple University. When he was a teenager, Drew tried twice to take his own life and remembers well the all-consuming depression.

"It felt like every ounce of me was 10 times heavier. Just to get out of bed every morning, I had to literally drag myself," said Bergman of Mt. Holly, New Jersey.

"I was always afraid that I would find him hanging in the closet," said Jennifer Uhl-Bergman, Drew's mother.

Drew's mom Jennifer says it was a frightening time as the family struggled to get him the help he needed.

"If you're going to be a pediatrician then you've got to deal with these things - eating disorders, depression, cutting, the whole thing," said Uhl-Bergman.

Through a combination of intense therapy, medication and hard work, Drew emerged from a dark place - but it wasn't easy.

"I was so scared of what people would say, what people would think if they knew what I had actually gone through," said Bergman.

Drew is now traveling around the country speaking to middle and high school students, telling them his story and reaching out to kids who may be having trouble themselves.

Drew tells students everyone carries invisible book bags filled with pressures around family, school, relationships, social media.

"We just throw it all in, and overtime that bag gets heavier and heavier and heavier," said Bergman. "So I try to tell these kids if they know someone who's carrying too heavy of an invisible book bag, to help that kid find help."

Speaking for an Ardmore-based suicide education group called Minding Your Mind, Drew suggests students identify a teacher, coach or other adult they can talk to and learn to develop coping mechanisms.

"They want help, they just don't know how to start the conversation," said Bergman.

Drew Bergman is trying to give them the tools and hoping to save lives.

Related Topics:
new jersey newssuicidechildren's healthstudentsdepressionhealthcheckMt. Holly
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