Neil and Joey both dealt with depression when they were kids, but only one could get help.

Neil Hilborn delivered a beautiful and moving spoken-word poem called "Joey" about depression, suicide, and what it takes to get help.

At the heart of it? How being able to afford help can make all the difference for a person who is depressed.

That difference, of course, can be life or death. It's a vital message, especially because depression affects so many of us. Over 15 million American adults suffered a major depressive episode in 2013.


If you have a few minutes to watch the video, scroll down. It's worth your time because Hilborn is such a moving performer.

Here are the highlights:

In his poem, Neil talks about his childhood and his good friend Joey. Both he and Joey had suicidal thoughts when they were younger.

"Joey always told me, laughing as though it were actually a joke, that he wanted to kill himself, but it was never the right time. There were always groceries to be bought and little brothers to be tucked in.

Don't worry. Joey isn't going to kill himself twenty more seconds into this poem. That's not the kind of story I'm telling here."

Neil recalls the time Joey told him he was depressed and how he had responded callously but so normally for a teenager in a society where we're conditioned to tell people who are depressed to "get over it."

Neil struggled with depression, too. But unlike Joey's family, Neil's had the financial means to get him help.

"There's one difference between me and Joey. When we got arrested, bail money was waiting for me at the station," says Neil. "When I was hungry, I ate."

He continues, speaking more quickly, gasping for breath between lines:

"When I wanted to open myself up and see if there really were bees rattling around in there, my parents got me a therapist. I can pinpoint the session that brought me back to the world. That session cost $75. $75 dollars is two weeks of groceries. It's a month of bus fare. It's not even a school year's worth of new shoes.

It took weeks of $75 to get to the one that saved my life."


Neil finishes his poem: "I'm so lucky that right now, I'm not describing Joey's funeral. I'm so lucky we all lived through who we were to become who we are. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky."

None of us should have to rely on luck. We should be able to talk openly about depression and mental illness and — more importantly — have services available to us, regardless of whether we can afford them.

If you're in a position to donate money to support mental health services and would like to help, CNN has an article listing some worthwhile organizations.

$75 shouldn't be the difference between life and death.

If you're in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You can call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). You can also visit the website for an online chat option.

Here's the moving spoken-word poem, and there's a full transcript below — just hit the "View transcript" link below the video.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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While orcas aren't a threat to humans, there's a reason they're called "killer whales." To their prey, which includes just about everything that swims except humans, they are terrifying apex predators who hunt in packs and will even coordinate to attack whales several times their own size.

So if you're a human alone on a little platform boat, and a sea lion that a group of orcas was eyeing for lunch jumps onto your boat, you might feel a little wary. Especially when those orcas don't just swim on by, but surround you head-on.

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