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Debbie Jones hopes her loss will help others live well

“We have to treat it like cancer."

Debbie Jones lost her husband Dennis in December 2009 after a long, undetected illness—depression.

"In some cases it's terminal and for Dennis,” she said, “it was terminal.”

Debbie met Dennis when she was 15 and he was 18. After 35 years of marriage, she thought she knew him as well she knew herself. But like so many other families affected by depression and suicide, Debbie was completely unaware of the dark battle Dennis was fighting.

After his death, Debbie gave her money, her time and most importantly her voice to honor her husband.

With the help of her pastor at Germantown Methodist Church, Rick Kirchoff, and the Center of Excellence for Faith and Health at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the Dennis H. Jones Living Well Network was born.

The Living Well Network offers a service--and a listening ear—for those fighting battles with depression, anxiety and risky drinking. Callers are immediately assisted by a healthcare professional who connects them to resources for their personal needs.

The network’s website,, also offers a multitude of valuable resources for  assessing and understanding mental illnesses.

“I wish I had known enough to be able to help Dennis. With this program, we can plug a hole where we didn’t even know there was one,” she says. “Dennis was giving and caring. Now, he can continue to give and care through this work for years to come.”

You can reach the Dennis H. Jones Living Well Network Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 901.762.8558.

Depression facts:

-Affects 121 million worldwide.

-It is among the leading causes of disability.
-It can be diagnosed and treated.
-Fewer than 25 percent have access to treatment.



Posted by John Gaskill at 12:30 PM