Suicide Prevention Week Sept 7 – 13





New book and video offer help to depressed teens, parents, teachers, counselors, clergy and others.


WILLIAMSTOWN, WV – 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.


Dr. Ruth Harper says about the book in her review for the August,2007 edition of Counseling Today, the professional magazine for the American Counseling Association:


“…this little book demonstrates the power of it’s title, A Relentless Hope…For therapists, this book offers much to consider…For teens, those with or without a diagnosis of depression, this book radiates acceptance, empathy, and hope… Throughout the book, analogies and comparisons…and a host of other everyday, often light-hearted images illustrate Nelson’s conversational, common-sense approach to the complex topic of teenage depression… The book is a work of love about the power of love.  And that, in itself, is healing.”


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:




Dr. Nelson recently gave radio interviews on Connecticut Public Radio, KFIV in Modesto, CA, WBZ  in Boston, MA, and WJCW  in Johnson City, TN.  He also recently gave television interviews on KOMOTV in Seattle, Washington, WTAP in Parkekrsburg, West Virginia, and WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.  Dr. Nelson recently gave a seminar at the Alive 08 Music Festival, and is scheduled as a seminar speaker at the upcoming Wisconsin Counselor’s Summit in Nov. 2008.


CONTACT: Gary Nelson is available for interviews by calling (304) 375-2802-ofc, (304)375-4839-home,

(703)772-5859-cell, or via e-mail at


~ by revgenelson on August 17, 2008.

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