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September 2001

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A very warm depressioNet welcome to all who are new to depressioNet in the last month. Our newsletter is designed to keep you posted on what is happening at depressioNet and let you know about some of the research and events that are happening around Australia that may be of interest and or help.

depressioNet Update - A New Beginning!
The past few months have been challenging time for depressioNet, culminating in the need to close the message board, chat and 24 hour email support on the 8th September due to a lack of financial support.

This closure is temporary and we are working hard to secure the funds to re-open these as soon as possible. There is no such thing as a problem, only an opportunity, and we view this as new beginning.

At the same time as we work to reopen the 24 hour support, we will be securing the future of depressioNet to ensure that it is not in this position again. We have developed a 3 month 'Phase 2' plan to secure the future and a Phase 3 plan to then take depressioNet forward. We remain committed to the integrity and philosophy of depressioNet. The needs of 'people like us' will always be our top priority in all we do.

Phase 2: Securing The Future...
There are three areas of focus for phase 2:

1. To maintain the quality of the current services depressioNet provides;
2. To get the 24-hour support back as soon as possible.
3. To implement the business plan to ensure the future of depressioNet is secure and financially self-sustaining without compromising the philosophy or integrity in any way.

To get the 24-hour support back immediately and maintain it while we secure the future, we need $30K. The importance and urgency of this means we need all the help we can get. The Save dNet information on depressioNet at http://www.depressionet.com.au/aboutus/savednet.html will be updated regularly to keep you posted on progress until we are able to again provide the messageboard, chat and 24-hour support.

Many people who have written to government, media etc asking for help with the financial support needed to keep the messageboard and chat running have been told that depressioNet is 'having discussions' with Beyond Blue. This is a misunderstanding and is not correct. Professor Ian Hickie, CEO of Beyond Blue, told us some time ago that Beyond Blue is unable to provide the interim financial assistance needed.

Thank You!
Our sincere thanks to the many people who have been helping and providing support to each other and to the team here. Without your support and contributions we would not have been able to keep the message board and chat open as long as we did. One of the best things about all the work and emailing that you have been doing is that a lot of new people who need dNet have found us. In the past month we had over 13,000 visits a week! From the emails we receive we know that many of these people have visited for the first time and have found dNet to be an 'oasis' of understanding and support. The overwhelming support and encouragement we have received from so many people and organisations is very deeply appreciated and helps depressioNet to remain an independent service provided by 'people like us' for all of us.

If the government will not provide the help we need, we will do it ourselves. Together, we WILL do it!

'We shall repent in this generation not so much for the evil acts of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.' - Martin Luther King

What makes dNet 'different'?
We have had journalists, politicians, and many others who do not visit depressioNet ask us in the last few months what it is that makes depressioNet different. depressioNet has become the valuable resource it is today because of the incredible support and sense of ownership of so many 'people like us' who live with depression and related conditions. dNet is a safe place, a place we can come 24 hours a day and find the information, help and support that we need from people like us people from all backgrounds and walks of life who truly know and understand what it is to live with depression.

depressioNet is about caring for the individual, regardless of who we are or what we do. dNet visitors are people - painters, MD's of large organisations, doctors, secretaries, social workers, taxi drivers, politicians, students, electricians, grandparents, unemployed, marketing managers, IT specialists, psychologists, engineers... The most important information people find at depressioNet is 'You are not alone!'.

Welcome to our new Corporate depressioNet Sponsor!
The depressioNet team would like to extend a very warm welcome and our thanks to our newest corporate supporter at the Waratah level, Herron. depressioNet sponsors are companies who are supporting depressioNet as part of their own commitment to the health and well being of Australians. These are companies and people who understand and support the philosophy of depressioNet. We have information on our sponsors at http://www.depressionet.com.au/partners.html

Stigma - SANE asks for help!
SANE Australia has condemned Sony's new Play Station game, Twisted Metal Black, as outrageous and unacceptable - asking the company to immediately remove all references or allusions to mental illness from it. While none of the team here have yet seen the game, apparently it includes a cast of characters straight out of the 'stigma' asylum... a twisted little tribe of freaks, outcasts from society, 'nutters', maniacal killers. Players are invited to slip into their minds, take a walk around their mental anguish, and come out screaming for more. SANE has suggested that we email our concerns to the Sony CEO at michael_ephraim@sce.net sounds like a good idea!

We currently have a number of Australian research projects on depressioNet.com.au that need our help. The more that is understood about depression and related conditions, the better for us all!

The Gender Order and Mental Health In Young Australians
Nicole Shepherd from the University of Queensland is conducting this study and needs people aged 18 to 24 years old to take part in an interview. If you live outside Brisbane, you can still participate!

NEW! 5 New Research Projects Currently Being Conducted Into Bipolar Disorder
The Mood Disorders Unit at The Prince of Wales Hospital, N.S.W is currently conducting 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
This study is being conducted by Dr. Susan Rossell from Maquarie University and needs people who live in the Sydney region and who have schizophrenia or a mood disorder.

What's On
We have included some of the Seminars & Workshops that may be of interest that are being held throughout Australia and New Zealand below. For more information on these and other relevant events, visit the National and State links from http://www.depressionet.com.au/whatson.html.

Exclusion and Embrace Conference http://www.depressionet.com.au/conferences/exclusion_embrace.html
A conference exploring the themes of disability and spirituality. It reflects the growing interest in issues of faith, justice and meaning in the lived experience of disability. Melbourne, 18th to 21st of October.

Should we be anxious about childhood anxiety? http://www.depressionet.com.au/whatson/vic_ruth.html This seminar will discuss issues with treatment, diagnosis and offer suggestions for parents and professionals. Tuesday 11th October and bookings are essential, call ADAVIC on 9853 8089

Mental Health First Aid Course http://www.depressionet.com.au/whatson/actwhatson.html#firstaid
This is an 8 hour course designed to improve one's mental health literacy about the main mental health problems of depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol & drug disorders.

Overcoming Anxiety http://www.depressionet.com.au/whatson/vic_overcoming.html
This seminar is presented by Bev Aisbett and will focus on Anxiety and its treatment options.
Wednesday 3rd October and Tuesday 9th October.

Here For You Always!
If there is anything that we can do to help you in anyway, please let us know: team@depressioNet.com.au
Our warmest regards to all,
Leanne and the dNet Team


Your feedback and input will be greatly appreciated.

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