I was introduced to Kevin Breel by a teacher who had been reading his book “Boy Meets Depression” to her class. Side note: I think it’s absolutely fantastic to see educators bringing mental health education into the classroom and it would be great to see mental health education as part of the curriculum. Kevin is young, only 21 years old but he has already established himself as a strong voice in the mental health community. He has an extremely successful TED talk and is a spokesperson for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign which is targeted at ending the stigma around mental health disorders.
“Boy Meets Depression” is the memoir of a young man who finds himself in the gripes of depression during his teenage years. Kevin takes us through his childhood which was lonely and troubled, but he comes into his own by finding a group of friends in his late childhood and ultimately his best friend, Jordan. During the summer of grade 8, Kevin suffers a deep loss which is the invitation for depression to begin creeping in. Kevin experiences most of his high school years under a cloud with the fog of depression, as Keven refers to it, settling in his later teen years.
Kevin is raw, honest and vulnerable. He does a wonderful job of differentiating between sadness and depression, which can sometimes be a tricky concept to understand. He gives an insightful glimpse into the toxic mind of someone who is caught in midst of a depressive episode and allows the reader to take in the hard work it takes to get out of it. If you have experienced depression or think you might be, I’m sure this book will strike a chord. If you are supporting a loved one who is dealing with depression, this book will give you an idea of the battle they are facing. Kevin has experienced many challenges in his life, but his willingness to reflect and look inward provides the reader with many valuable pieces of information to take away. I’m sure this is just the start of a long lasting career in mental health advocacy for Kevin.