“The key to treating depression is NOT to ignore it – it does not go away on its own. It is, however, highly treatable.” Sandy Nevills Reiff

Depression is a different animal than the typical end of the season blues. It’s bigger than the extreme frustration boatmen feel as their bodies age. Depression is caused by a physical, chemical imbalance in the brain – and has a wide range of signs and symptoms. In honor of Whale, we offer a few articles created to assist you in recognizing them.

Sandy Nevills Reiff’s “Transitions and Depression” piece focuses on her experience identifying and treating depression within the Grand Canyon boating community. “Depression and My Life”, written anonymously, speaks of one boatman’s personal experience with depression and the Whale Foundation.

Though it is not caused by weakness or lack of will, there is often a great deal of shame surrounding Depression. We encourage those in need to call our Toll Free Help Line, but we also offer another option for seeking assistance. The WF Liaison Program was designed to provide access to a wide number of individuals in the boating community who’ve been trained to listen, to identify Depression and offer assistance. We trust someone in need of info or help will find a Liaison listed with whom they’ll feel comfortable sharing their concerns. Please read more about this program in the Who We Are section under Liaison Program.

For further info, check out our links to the National Institute of Mental Health website (, or contact the Whale Foundation.

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