The Depression Files

Al Interviews Evan Whitehead | Director of Special Services, National Consultant & Public Speaker

July 26, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Evan Whitehead, director of special services, national consultant, and public speaker (recorded 4-8-20). Growing up with a father who was unpredictable due to substance abuse, Evan experienced trauma as a child. At times, the power and phones at their home would be shut off and the family moved a number of times throughout his childhood.

Evan experienced his first bout of depression when he left home for college and started playing DI football. In high school, Evan had been a standout football player. As a freshman playing DI, this was no longer the case. This, along with living across the country from his family, was too much to handle. Evan found himself turning to alcohol and weed in order to cope. By the end of his freshman year, he had lost the care of school and football and experienced suicidal ideations for the first time.

Evan's second bout of depression came as a new father. He gave so much care for his newborn and others, that he neglected his own care. He continued self-medicating and finally realized he needed support for himself. He entered a dual diagnosis program to deal with his substance abuse and mental health.

Evan shares the challenges of mental health in the black community and, more specifically, around the generational trauma that often prevents African Americans from reaching out for the help they may need. In addition, Evan shares his passion of supporting educators and their mental health.

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