LEAD Pittsburgh, one of the region’s largest depression awareness collectives, announced the hiring of its new Executive Director Friday. Jeananne Nicholls says she will use the leadership role to increase knowledge of workplace depression and to lobby methods of treating mental illnesses.
Nicholls, a Pittsburgh native who attended Carlow and Duquesne Universities, says depression awareness may be especially pertinent in a time when millions nationwide are losing their jobs. “Of course, you see some of the publicity around some bigger names that might be associated with depression… I do think that the time is perfect for the general public awareness that depression is a treatable illness,” says Nicholls.
Nicholls says physicians should consider depression and other mental problems their patients may have as well as their physical ailments, giving a more holistic approach to medicine. She added that she would also like to see employers take into account the negative effect depression has on workplace productivity, and wants companies to provide effective diagnosis and resources for dealing with mental illness.