Lucas Oliveira, 17, was born in Brazil, Rondonia. He is a senior at Lowell High School. He likes to read books about space and play games. Lucas wants to go to college to become an astronomer and understand better how the universe works.


Lucas Oliveira

Depression is one of the most common causes of death in Brazil. Roughly 750,000 people in Brazil annually suffer from depression.  It’s difficult to perceive, but it has a big effect on people’s lives. Just because you can’t see it doesnt mean it isn’t there.

Brazil leads Latin America with the highest number of people suffering from depression. Depression Is a mental illness that causes deep sadness, loss of hope and other bad feelings. Depression can take all of you, your dreams, your hope and everything that you like. Millions of people suffer from it everyday in Brazil, but the highest incidence is among women.  Roughly 800,000 people die annually in Brazil from deaths related to depression. Depression is considered the second cause of death between 15 – 29 year olds at least in part because too many people think that depression isn’t something to be worried about. 

Most people know that depression is a severe illness that could cause death for those who suffer from it. A center was created to help people suffering from depression in Brazil. CAVIDA is one of them,  CAVIDA is a NGO that offers social assistance, promoting mental health and training professionals.  In 2015 an organization was created. the ABEPS (Associação Brasileira de Prevenção e Estudo ao Suicidio), (Brazilian Association of Studies and Suicide Prevention), that is a Brazilian association for suicide prevention. ABEPS studies  suicide prevention programs and expands society knowledge to reduce the huge number of deaths from suicide.

Many schools in Brazil lack means to help against depression. Many schools don’t give any  kind of help against it, or enough help. What if we added centers of help in every school of Brazil? It could save many students from this kind of problem. Another solution is to create a hotline  number for help.  A phone number anyone could call at any hour or any time that they’re feeling bad, supporting any person who needs help. This hotline would be staffed all the time so people could talk to therapists and crisis managers.

We can change this situation. Everybody matters. Some might say: Who cares if one more light goes out in a sky of million stars? I think we should all care. And we can all do more if we work together.