Avera Medical Minute: Bike Ride for Depression Awareness - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Bike Ride for Depression Awareness

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It's a 3,800 mile bike ride from San Francisco, California across the United States to New York City. And it's all to raise awareness about depression in men.

We hear from one man who is facing his depression head on.

Mark Meier was diagnosed with depression in college but refused to get treatment.

"I tried to deal with it on my own, tried to get over it and I wasn't very successful with it," Meier said.

Then nine years ago it just got worse. He said at one point he was suicidal.

"I have a wife and three kids and if I'd be successful that night, my youngest daughter who is just over nine now, was eight months at the time and I would have left a wife and three kids to really struggle," Meier said.

But Mark got the treatment he needed. He then started the organization Face it Together. Mark and so many others are raising awareness about depression through a cross country bike ride.

While in South Dakota they stopped at the Avera Behavioral Health Center in Sioux Falls.

Assistant Vice President Steven Lindquist says about 7% of the population have depression but so many don't get the help they need.

"The other part that's interesting is only about 70% of individuals who have depression only seek treatment," Lindquist said.

Lindquist says depression is a very treatable disorder and once treated most people live healthy lives like Meier.

"He's been through major depression. He's been the whole nine yards in experiencing the signs and challenges it creates for people but he's been through it," Lindquist said.

And for Meier he doesn't want you to go through what he did which is why he biking across the country,1,600 miles so far to show this is a disease that needs to be talked about.

"To live a life with untreated depression is like living a life with untreated diabetes or heart disease, it causes all sorts of problems and men don't have to live that way,' Meier said.

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