We aim to to raise public awareness and understanding of depression. Our wide range of innovative educational program offerings are designed to make the difficult and serious subject of depression accessible and appealing to a broad audience.
(See "Program At-A-Glance")
The License to Live Project aims to inspire and empower people with depression to live productive, meaningful and extraordinary lives.
THE NEED: We are in the midst of a global health crisis. The World Health Organization reports that by 2020, the amount of lost life attributable to depression will soon be greater than any other condition, including cancer, stroke, heart disease, accidents, and war; and suicide rates have increased 60 percent in the last 45 years, with one person in the world dying from suicide every 40 seconds. Because of the prevailing stigma of depression, millions of men and women around the globe do not seek the care and support they desperately want and need.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TO HELP! We're advocating for a new public educational model that emphasizes the unique strengths and accomplishments of people living well with depression - what we call, A Hero Model of Depression. In fact, we aim to celebrate depressed people as, what Dr. Jonathan Rottenberg says in Psychology Today, a resource who can teach us all about overcoming adversity.
Our educational and therapeutic program offerings are designed to reflect this empowering point of view.
OUR UNIQUE APPROACH
license to live
THE NEED: With over 350 million people around the world currently battling depression, it’s difficult to believe that it’s still such a difficult thing to talk about. But in a recent study, three-quarters of people polled in 35 different countries said they still try to conceal their depression from others for fear of disctimination.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TO HELP! We are creating friendly and at-times even entertaining educational materials that make depression easy to talk about! Using the world’s most popular and appealing screen persona of James Bond as a megaphone (and metaphor) to talk about the worldwide problem and difficult subject of depression, our innovative resources are designed to make the serious topic of depression accessible and appealing to both an intergenerational and international audience.
THE NEED: The prevailing stigma is that depression is a weakness, and that depressed people are feeble and pitiable. Add to that persistent gender stereotypes – such as men and soldiers should be able to “tough it out” or rise above pain – and for many people, as psychologist Dr. Terrance Real points out, depression carries “a double stain: the stigma of mental illness and also the stigma of ‘feminine’ emotionality.” This prevailing stigma prevents too many people from getting the care they desperately want and need, including: MEN, who are significantly less likely to talk about their depression than women, four times more likely to commit suicide than women, and whose rate of suicide (in the U.S.) has increased 38 percent in the last ten years; and VETERANS, who are killing themselves more than double the rate of the civilian population, which means a U.S. veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TO HELP! With "the hook" of the world-famous -- and notoriously strong and capable -- character of James Bond at the center of our educational materials, our program not only makes depression an easier (or less threatening) thing to talk about. In this sense, our educational materials and community-building resources will prove especially appealing -- and helpful -- to men and veterans.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TO HELP! We aim to empower each individual to actively participate in his/her own mental health! Although we certainly encourage the use of medicine prescribed by doctors and active support from mental health professionals, the (strength-centered and often free) treatment alternatives emphasized in our materials offer people a "lifestyle" approach for minimizing symptoms, preventing relapses and increasing overall mental health.
THE NEED: While pharmaceuticals and talk-therapies, particularly in combination, help many depressed people, they are relatively expensive to administer, and they don’t reach a huge segment of the one-fifth of the global population that suffers from depression’s painful symptoms.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TO HELP! In general, our aim is not on curing depression, per se, but rather on how to empower people to make the most in their ups-and-downs...that is, on how to live well with depression. Our educational materials and reources show that depression IS treatable, and that productive. meaningful and extraordinary lives can be lived with depression.
THE NEED: Depression is highly recurrent, with at least 50% of those who recover from a first episode of depression having one or more additional episodes in their lifetime, and about 80% of those with a history of two episodes having several more recurrences.
**The License to Live Project is
UNAUTHORIZED BY THE JAMES BOND FOLKS,
BUT COMPLETELY AUTHORIZED BY EXPERT PSYCHOLOGISTS.
The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the co-authors and neither represent nor reflect the views of any other individual or entity. The idea for this site and its contents, as well as the related self-help book, have not been prepared, endorsed, or licensed by, and is not affiliated with any individual or entity that has created, produced, or maintained any affiliation with the James Bond novels or films.
I'm interested in a book that I think will be able to get out the message of the treatability of depression to a larger audience. And if James Bond is the way to do it, I’m engaged with that!"
– Andrew Solomon, Pulitzer-Prize nominated author
(and contributor to A License to Live), in an interview with
Founder of our project
Since I know another bout [of depression] will probably come again, I try to live every non-depressed moment I have to its fullest.
– Chris, 56-year-old attorney (interviewed by authors)
Xenia Onatopp: Enjoy it while it lasts.
James Bond: The very words I live by!
– Dr. No (1962)