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JULY 2002

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Welcome to depressioNet!
depressioNet is created by and for 'people like us' – Australians living with depression. With depression being such a common illness, it affects us all. The more we know about depression and related conditions, the better equipped we are to reduce the impact on our lives and on the lives of the people we care for. We welcome your input and feedback to help make depressioNet a better place for us all.

Still No 1! depressioNet was first recognised as Australia's No 1 ranking Health & Medical Information site back in the March quarter 2001, only 6 months after the first 4 pages went live and is a powerful testimony to the size of the need that exists. We recently received notification that we are still "No 1" ! Our thanks to all who contribute to making depressioNet the place we all need.

Our New 'Partner in Health' – GRAND UNITED HEALTH FUND!
We are very excited about the relationship with our newest supportive partner and our first 'Mental Health Solutions' (MHS) partner, Grand United Health Fund. The depressioNet MHS program is about working in close partnership with organisations such as Grand United to reduce the impact of depression and related conditions on the lives of Australians. Grand United support people in the choices they make regarding treatment for depression and related conditions and offer members one of the broadest ranges of rebates for treatment including psychological and 'alternative' therapies.

In becoming a MHS partner with depressioNet, Grand United enable the Team at depressioNet to provide an even greater range of information, help and support to their members. If you are a member of Grand United let us know so we can make sure you benefit from the support Grand United are providing. There is an article about depressioNet and the MHS program in your recent Grand United 'Get Into Life' magazine. A warm depressioNet Welcome to Grand United!

Help When You Need It
Help When You Need It is a new mental health package for schools that has been created by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, one of Australia's best known adolescent psychologists (and a wonderful supporter of depressioNet!). It includes video and multimedia presentations for teachers, parents and young people and clearly explains the issues teenagers face with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying and other important topics. 'Help When You Need It' is supported by the Lions-Rotary Foundation and depressioNet would like to encourage people to contact their local Rotary and Lions clubs to encourage them to purchase this program for local schools and libraries. Contact the team@depressioNet.com.au if you would like more information.

Online Counselling / Psychotherapy!
Dr Timothy Sharp has developed an online service for people who are seeking professional psychological counselling which is available through 'Making Changes'. Making Changes specialises in helping people overcome depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia, as well as helping people get more out of life. We have information about the new Online Counselling Service on depressioNet.

Face-to-face contact with a health care professional is always best. However there are people who are in situations where online psychotherapy such as CBT and Interpersonal Relationship Therapy (proven most effective therapies for depression) enable them to benefit from therapy where they would not otherwise be able to. Making Changes online psychology service is an exciting development in the management of problems such as depression and anxiety and delivers and effective treatment to those in need.

APS Tip!
This months' tip comes from the Australian Psychological Society Managing Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Stressful Events Tip Sheet. To obtain a full copy of this and other Tip Sheets, freecall the APS office on 1800 333 497 or email the APS at tipsheet@psychsociety.com.au. Remember to include your postal address.

When To Seek Professional Assistance
"Traumatic stress often leads to sudden changes in our patterns of daily living and the experience of unusually strong emotional reactions. You should seek professional assistance if you:

  • are unable to handle the intense feelings or physical sensations
  • continue to feel numb and empty and do not have normal feelings
  • feel your emotions are not returning to normal after approximately 3 to 4 weeks following the incident
  • continue to have physical symptoms
  • continue to have disturbed sleep and / or nightmares
  • have no person or group with whom you can share your feelings and emotions
  • find relationships with friends, family and colleagues seem to be suffering as a result of the trauma
  • are becoming accident prone and are increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

    Message Board and Chat
    Over the last few weeks depressioNet has welcomed many new visitors to our Chat and Message Board. Most of us understand how nerve wracking it can be the first time we visit a chat room. Our guidelines at 'Welcoming New People' has some points on welcoming and helping over-come those first visit nerves.

    Lending a Hand
    Disability Support Pensioners Australia Inc. is a support organisation for young pensioners in our society. They have asked our help to collect recipes using fresh vegies to make simple dishes very cheaply. If you know of some tempting dishes and would like to help others in need, send your recipes and ideas to Judi-Ann of DSP.

    Research – Help them to help us!
    The more we learn about depression and related conditions, and the more we understand, the better for us all! Preschool Behavioural Adjustment Study

    Reshma Sood is carrying out research that needs our help now! If you are the father of children aged 3 - 5 years and suffer from a depressed mood then please take 15 minutes of your time to fill out a questionnaire. For a copy of the questionnaire please email: r.sood@latrobe.edu.au or call (03) 9479 2150 or 0414 785 821

    The Mood Disorders Unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney is conducting a number of studies.

    Two New Studies Australian Trial for Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder and New Investigational Medicine for Depression Study.

    5 Research Projects Currently Being Conducted Into Bipolar Disorder
    5 different research studies into Bipolar Disorder

    Transcranial Magnetic Research (TMS) A New Treatment for Depression
    The Mood Disorders Unit (MDU) at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney is offering TMS as an experimental treatment for depression. To participate you will need to be able to visit the MDU in Sydney.

    Language problems, schizophrenia and mood disorders
    Dr. Susan Rossell is conducting this study from Maquarie University and needs people who live in the Sydney region and who have schizophrenia or a mood disorder.

    Since our last edition of this newsletter we have seen the completion of the project run by Maria Ftanou and Professor Marita McCabe. For the results of the project titled Impact of Depression on Intimate Relationships visit: http://www.depressionet.com.au/research/rsch_results.html

    The Stress and Anxiety Research Society (STAR) is an international organisation of researchers and clinicians interested in diverse aspects of stress, anxiety and coping. They are running a conference in August that will bring together national and international scholars to meet and exchange ideas.

    There's No Health Without Mental Health This conference is about the need to consider mental health when looking into general health. Mental health is fundamental to the health and well-being of all. This conference has been organised by TheMHS and is running between 20th and 22nd August.

    What's On
    We have included some of the many Seminars & Workshops that may be of interest that are being held throughout Australia and New Zealand below. Please let us know of anything relevant in your area!

    Mental Health First Aid Course
    This is an 8 hour course designed to help people understand the main mental health problems of depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol & drug disorders. The course runs in the ACT throughout the year.

    Rotary Community Forums
    These are excellent forums aimed at educating the community.

    Questions Around Panic and Anxiety
    Derek Maher is a psychologist who has been working in the panic disorder arena for over ten years. He will be available to answer any questions you may have concerning panic and anxiety in Brunswick on the 25th July.

    ASIST - Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
    Fifty Australians die by suicide every week. Most people considering suicide signal their distress and intent. Training can help us see and respond to these invitations to help and provide confidence to ask about suicide if we are concerned about someone's safety. ASIST is run nationally and the next venue is Melbourne in August.

    Here for you – 24 hours a day!

    If there is anything that we can do to help you in anyway, please let us know: team@depressioNet.com.au
    Leanne and the Team at depressioNet

    Giving Meaning To Statistics


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