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Georgetown Ministry Center

The New Yorker recently published a 15,000-word feature about Bruce Springsteen, which delves into Springsteen’s life and history of clinical depression. This news and word of this feature is making its way into many headlines, news segments, and blog posts.

Maybe you are wondering why we are blogging about it, too. Why would a homeless outreach organization be interested in what Springsteen, an influential and important figure in the music industry, has to say? The answer is this: When the Boss talks about a decades-long struggle with clinical depression, suicidal thoughts, and a family history of mental illness, it opens up a discussion about these issues that affect so many people, including the homeless.

The CDC’s staggering statistic is that one in ten Americans report suffering from depression. Research also show that chronically and street-based homeless people are more likely to experience depression.¹ Whether depression is a cause or result (or both) of homelessness, the fact is that many of the guests who pass through GMC’s doors are depressed, and so we bring in experts like Dr. Ron Koshes, our psychiatrist, to help diagnose and treat those who need help.

The news segment we aired this morning in our clubhouse mentioned Springsteen’s depression, which we hope will open channels of communication between us and our community.

¹La Gory, Mark, Ferris J. Ritchey, and Jeff Mullis. “Depression among the Homeless.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 31.1 (1990): 87-102. Web. 25 Jul. 2012.

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