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Adam Kuban, a journalism professor at Ball State, is working with students in the Ingelhart Scholars Program to create a book about facing depression in East Central Indiana.

By teaming up with The Facing Project (founded by Kelsey Timmerman and #bsuenglish alum J.R. Jamison), Adam and his students hope to provide a platform for the voices of depression sufferers, while also considering the stories of psychologists, mentally healthy family members, and others who interact with depression in indirect ways.

Today, we asked Adam some questions about Facing Depression’s launch event, which is taking place on April 23rd (7:00 PM) at the Muncie Civic Theater.

So who came up with the idea of focusing on depression? Have Ball State students expressed a need for a program like this in the past?

Adam Kuban: Assistant Professor of Journalism and project leader.

Actually, it was my students who chose this topic. J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman met with me and my graduate assistant, Sara Narwhold. We discussed thematic options and, after some deliberation, the students decided to pursue the topic of depression.

I’m honestly not sure if Ball State students have previously expressed need for project like this; however, I know that Dr. Ellen Lucas, affiliated with BSU Counseling Services, met with my class earlier this semester and told us that depression is common among college students, including those at Ball State.

Are there any stories from the Facing Project that stand out, even if the stories are from past collaborations?

No stories stand out to me because they are all unique in their own ways.

We have stories from people directly faced with depression — their struggles and their successes.  But we also tell stories from those indirectly impacted by depression, like a student whose parent faces depression and a psychologist who works with those diagnosed with depression.
Moreover, our project includes stories about depression from students and faculty, indicating that depression does not target a specific age or gender demographic.

Why do you think this project is important? What do you gain from being involved in it? If Facing Depression didn’t exist, what might students miss out on?

flyer_event_Muncie CivicI think it’s important because, as a society, we still seem to have a stigma associated with mental illnesses. Some people still think that a mental illness is “just a phase,”  or that the person afflicted “just needs to be happy.”

Facing Depression in East Central Indiana is designed to inform and educate, and I think that, for those telling the stories, the experience can be quite empowering.  Students may not realize that they or somebody close to them might struggle with depression, and this project should help them understand how they can help…or how they can get help.

Is there anything else we should know? 

The stories included in the Facing Depression project will be read in monologue style at 7:00 PM on April 23rd at the Muncie Civic Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Also, you can fund the project here.  All donors’ names will be included in the book.

Thanks, Adam!