NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK - OCT. 5 - 11! New book and video offer help to depressed teens, parents, teachers, counselors, clergy and others

When Dr. Gary E. Nelson saw his teenage son spiral into depression, it signaled the beginning of a long journey through the valley of the shadow of death. Dr. Nelson and the rest of his family struggled to help Tom find a way through the darkness. Tom survived the journey that his father later called "miraculous" in his new book, A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression.

The latest figures for teens in the U.S. released by Mental Health America in 2008 report that 1 in 5 teens suffer from clinical depression; the suicide rate for adolescents has tripled since 1970; and each year almost 5000 young people ages 15-24 kill themselves. There are around 2 million adolescents who attempt suicide in the U.S. each year.

"My son Tom gave up everything and wouldn't leave his darkened room," said Nelson. "I was aware that suicide driven by mental illness is a top killer of young people. We were terrified we could lose him."

In his new 150-page book Dr. Nelson uses his son's story as a guide for examining teen depression, following his son's experience of slowly losing interest in activities and soon, in life. Nelson also draws from his years of clinical experience counseling depressed teens and their families as a pastoral counselor as well as his experience as the pastor of local churches. The book is written in language that makes it accessible to teens, parents, counselors, teachers, and pastors. The book includes insightful information about the biological, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects of teen depression.

An excerpt from the book:

"The three baseballs Tom hurled through the downstairs hallway wall were the first in a long series of his actions and reactions totally baffling Patti and me. Never had we witnessed such behavior in our home. Never had disagreements or arguments been punctuated by acts of violence. Yet, there they were, the three round holes in the wall, marking the end of a discussion and the beginning of a nightmare."

For more information, or to purchase A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression visit: www.survivingteendepression.com.