CAITLIN MCCAULEY | FEATURES COLUMNIST
On Wednesday, April 8, 2016 McKenna Kaminski ’19 held a depression awareness presentation, Springing Away from Depression. Kaminski felt inspired to host this education project by her own experience with depression and her newfound ambition to help others struggling with it.
“Once I realized that there are other people who struggle with depression I knew that I could help them by talking about my own experience with other people. They key is to not feel so alone.”
The Cassandra Voss Center was packed as people gathered to hear her story and how she has changed and grown as a result of depression. Kaminski spoke of the important bonds she shares with members of her family, and continued to tell her own story and how she has struggled with depression in her life. Professor Sarah Schuetze also spoke about her encounters with depression and what she has found helpful in overcoming and combating it. Following a meditation after her presentation, Kaminski closed by introducing SNC students to a website she created to help those with depression.
The website that Kaminski created is called, The Punctured Soul Project. She came up with the idea to start a website when thinking of how she could help others that had gone through similar struggles as she has:
“I created my website because I wanted people who struggle with depression to have an outlet. I wanted to create a safe place for people to go when they feel like there’s nothing left. I wanted them to know that they’re not the only ones, there is places to get help, and there are coping skills that can be learned.”
The Punctured Soul Project features Kaminski’s own story, as well as the opportunity for those who currently or have previously dealt with depression to share their stories in a safe environment. The website also includes inspirational quotes, a link to the suicide hotline, and pieces written by Kaminski. Some of her pieces are reflections about her journey, others are personal letters written to friends and family, a coping technique she cites as one of her favorites. Writing letters to people, even if they are never sent, can be incredibly helpful in a person’s journey through depression.
When asked about her experience with depression, Kaminski says she benefitted from it greatly, and strongly encourages others going through depression to talk to someone,
“My advice to someone struggling with depression would be to get help and see a counselor. I know that it’s not an easy step to take because no one wants to feel like they’re ‘different’ but own up to that and make a difference for yourself. Don’t live a miserable life because you’re scared of how people will think of you. Don’t be ashamed of who you are because you are you and nothing should ever change that.”
Kaminski compliments the counseling services at SNC and highly recommends paying them a visit to anyone who feels they need someone to talk to. Depression is something that can easily be overlooked and hard to identify, a lot of times an outsider would never know if someone was struggling with depression because it can be hidden. Thanks to Kaminski’s bravery and superb speaking skills, the students of SNC are now more aware of depression and its effects as well as several methods for coping with depression, for more information visit The Punctured Soul Project at http://xprs.imcreator.com/free/mckennareide/the-punctured-soul-project