In this final episode for 2021, clinician and researcher Dr. Gerard Sanacora and mental health activist Ashley Clayton join to share insights about mental health, depression, and research, as well as access to effective clinical care and resources. In this conversation, we unpack several topics, including happiness, sadness and “feeling depressed,” and how these feelings differ from clinical depression and severe depression. With candor, honesty and care, Ashely also paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to experience severe depression, as she shares aspects of her journey. We also discuss newer medications, like ketamine, while talking openly about the challenges of navigating the mental health care system to access new medications – sometimes with literal life or death implications. We also consider the important ways we can support one another, even amidst the need to revamp our mental health care system to provide affordable, accessible and effective care. This is truly a powerful, moving, sobering, and at the same time empowering, episode!