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SUMMER 2004
NEWSLETTER

Newsletter Topics

Welcome to depressioNet!
Stop Press
Partners In Health: Hospitals
Partners In Health: Medibank Private
Partners In Health: Tip Of The Month
Made It Through Christmas... On To The New Year
Hair Today... Gone Tomorrow
Echo Poject
Grapple: Coming To Grips With Mental Health
Sleep Better Without Drugs
What's Going On???
Research Projects
Around The Office
Good Buy Depression
HealthInsite Welcomes depressioNet


WELCOME TO DEPRESSIONET!

A very warm depressioNet Welcome! to everyone who is new to depressioNet and our Newsletter. We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome a few new faces that have joined the depressioNet Visitor Care Team. A big welcome to Bree and Marita!

With another year over we welcome the New Year and the opportunities it brings.

2003 was an exciting and challenging year for depressioNet and we thank everyone who has been involved this year. We have seen new partnerships bloom and current partnerships grow, and depressioNet win the Australian Internet Industry Association (AIIA) award for the implementation of IT services - wonderful recognition of the quality of the service we provide and also a very powerful statement regarding the ability of people living with depression to achieve in competitive industries.

The new year will provide more challenges, solutions and opportunities for depressioNet and and for us all. We look forward to sharing these with you.

We will have a strong focus this year on sharing the tools and strategies that may be of help to 'people like us' on our road to recovery and/or learning to live with depression effectively managed. While this journey can seem to go on forever at times, learning how to 'control the depression, rather than having it control me' can reduce the suffering we experience along the way and minimise the negative impact depression has on our lives.

We hope you enjoy the Summer edition of the depressioNet Newsletter and wish everyone  a very safe and peace-filled holiday season.

STOP PRESS:
AIIA has chosen depressioNet to be one of three nominees for the 2004 Global IT Excellence
Awards representing Australia

PARTNERS-IN-HEALTH : Hospitals

It is with great enthusiasm that the depressioNet Resources Department welcomes Healthscope and Ramsay Hospitals to our Partners-In-Health program. These two wonderful Hospital groups offer services that exist to help people living with depression and related conditions. If you are looking for some support in treating your depression, then depressioNet can highly recommend the teams at the following hospitals around Australia.

RAMSAY HOSPITALS

Northside Clinic
Northside Clinic is a 98 bed facility located at Greenwich on the North Shore of Sydney, The hospital specialises in the treatment of mood disorders, drug and alcohol problems and eating disorders. Treatment is provided in in-patient, day-patient and partial hospitalisation settings.

Evesham Clinic
The clinic specialises in the treatment of general acute anxiety and depression in the elderly, as well as general acute treatment for war veterans.

Northside West Clinic
The Clinic provides structured therapeutic programs for a range of general psychiatric and addiction disorders, eg the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, emotional disorders, chemical dependency and addictions.

HEALTHSCOPE HOSPITALS

The Geelong Clinic
A 36 bed facility provides treatment and clinical care to people experiencing emotional and mental health problems.

The Victoria Clinic
Care evolves around the administration of a General Psychiatric Program that is based on the most appropriate, evidence-based and personalised models of treatment and is delivered by an experienced, multi-disciplinary team who believe in individualised care

The Melbourne Clinic
Providing a range of high quality services and programs for people with depression and related conditions

The Warburton Unit at Ivanhoe Private Rehabilitation Hospital
The Warburton Unit provides help and support for people with alcohol, drug or other addictive behaviours

The Palm Beach Currumbin Clinic
The hospital is dedicated to the delivery of a high standard of professional psychiatric care to meet the needs of those who are suffering from a broad range of emotional, psychological and substance use disorders

Pine Rivers Private Hospital – Dixon Unit
We specialise in the provision of quality mental health services that focus on symptomatic and functional recovery.

The Sydney Clinic
The Sydney Clinic provides assessment and treatment for people who are experiencing emotional difficulties and mental health problems. The facility specialises in mood and anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder

Northpark Clinic
The Psychiatric Unit is a 24 bed unit which provides a range of high quality services and programs for people with depression and related conditions

PARTNERS – IN – HEALTH: MEDIBANK PRIVATE

Australia’s largest private health insurer, Medibank Private, has joined forces with depressioNet.

The partnership aims to raise awareness of depression in Australia, and offers visitors to the Medibank Private website valuable information supplied by depressioNet.

One of the main benefits of the partnership is that via the Medibank Private website, people have increased discreet and anonymous access to valuable information, that may encourage depression sufferers to seek further help. It will also raise awareness of the 24 hour online peer support available for people with depression at

Medibank Private managing director, George Savvides, said that unless depression is recognised and treated as an illness in its early stages, there are many greater consequences that may result, such as physical illness and suicide.

“Of all the mental disorders, depression and its related disorders are the most pervasive and costly. The direct cost of treating depression in the Australian community is estimated to be around $500 million each year, and this figure is expected to rise over the coming decades. The true burden of depression, in terms of social, personal, and community costs, is far greater, and will continue to increase, unless we take preventative measures,” Mr Savvides said.

depressioNet is excited to be working with Medibank Private as it will help depressioNet to reach as many Australians as possible

depressioNet would like to extend a very warm welcome to the team at Medibank Private and we look forward to a wonderful partnership in fighting depression!

PARTNERS – IN – HEALTH: TIP OF THE MONTH

This month’s “Tip of the Month” comes from depressioNet Partner in Health, Making Changes.

Making Changes specialise in helping people change our lives for the better.

INTRODUCING RELAXATION
Relaxation strategies can be extremely helpful and useful. Relaxation can help you to better manage stress, tension and anxiety. It can help you get to sleep and fall asleep again if you wake during the night. Overall, it can help you manage a whole range of situations better and thereby, to enjoy life even more.

So what is relaxation? The relaxation I'm talking about here is more than just sitting in front of the TV or having a bubble bath (although these activities can certainly be enjoyable and relaxing at times!). The relaxation I'm talking about here is a relaxation that can be a powerful tool for life.

Deep relaxation refers to a distinct physiological state that is the exact opposite of the way your body feels and reacts under tension and stress. It involves a series of physiological changes including:

  • lowered heart rate
  • lowered perspiration levels
  • lowered blood pressure
  • lowered muscle tension
  • lowered metabolic rate
  • lowered analytical thinking

    The good news is that as well as being very effective, relaxation really isn't very difficult to learn. It is simply a skill, and just like any other skill, the more you practice using it the better you'll get and the more effective it will be for you. So just as I've emphasised with many of the other strategies described in these tips, the key is to practice as often as you can, and in as many situations as you can. Even if you can only practice for a few minutes, several times a day, you'll gradually master the skill and begin to realise the benefits. You will start feeling more relaxed all the time. To begin with, therefore, put aside 3-5 minutes, a couple of times each day, and try to relax. If you don't know how to do it just do nothing!

    MADE IT THROUGH CHRISTMAS...
    …ON TO THE NEW YEAR

    While one of the most destructive symptoms of depression is it's ability to rob us of feelings of hope, the New Year can be a time for us to make decisions to consciously take back control of our lives and emotions.

    Dr. Timothy Sharp is dedicated to helping people deal effectively with depression and learn the skills that can help in so many aspects of our lives. He runs the Making Changes Program and has a series of tips to help Make Your New Year's Resolutions Happen!

    We send our thanks to Tim for providing the follow tips to help us begin to make changes by making our New Year’s Resolutions work for us.

    Begin
    Based around a good business plan you can develop a good life plan too! Clarifying your work related goals and mapping out strategies that will help you achieve those goals, enables you to create a good business plan. The ideas behind a good business plan can be applied to developing a good life plan. Just as all successful businesses depend on a solid plan, so too do successful and happy people require a good life plan. You will need to have your plan worked out well before New Year's Eve, so start thinking, start planning, and start getting use to the idea that your life can and will be different when you really decide to make your resolutions happen.

    What would you like to change?
    If someone asked you today what your New Year's Resolutions are for 2002, how would you respond? Have you given it any thought?

    One of the reasons why many people fail to achieve their New Year's Resolutions is that they don't give them enough real consideration until the day before they expect to start making changes! Like any important project, making New Year's resolutions happen requires planning, particularly if we want those changes to stick.

    The first step is to be really clear about what and where you want (or need) to change. A great way to work out what to change is to take a tour of the different areas of your life and to reflect on whether there are aspects that are less than perfect. What are you tolerating rather than celebrating?

    Take a moment to reflect on each of the following areas of your life:

  • Career Health Sleep
  • Home Life/Family Fitness Finances
  • Social Life Appearance Sport
  • Relationships Time/Task Management Emotional Life
  • Work Performance Personal Development Daily routine/housework

    Are there any changes you would like to make? Write them down. Not later, now!

    Now imagine what your future will look like once you have successfully implemented these changes. What will you be doing differently? What will it feel like? What will you be thinking? Where will you be? Who else will be with you? Importantly, when will you start?

    Don't worry if you don't have all of the answers yet, just concentrate on the parts that are most clear for you. And write them down now. By doing so, you will have begun to turn your ideas into specific goals within a vision. This is a powerful way to start making changes for a better future!

    Congratulations, that's the first step done. You're on your way to making your New Year's Resolutions happen, and to making changes in your life!

    Goals
    The key to making your vision a reality and the key to making changes in general is setting goals. Further, the key to setting goals is making them as clear as possible. Setting a specific goal gives you a clear target to aim for, as well as providing you with a clear standard against which to measure your progress. The best method for turning your vision into clear goals is to make them SMART. To successfully achieve your goals you need to ensure they are –
    Specific: Be very clear about what exactly it is you aim to achieve. For example, rather than aiming to get fit you could aim to work out at the gym twice per week and walk the dog at least once on the weekend
    Measurable: Include clear measures so that you can determine the degree to which you are achieving your goals.
    Attractive: Your goals must be important and meaningful. You must want to achieve them.
    Realistic: You must be realistically capable of achieving your goals.
    Time-framed: You will need a time frame for starting and finishing your change program.
    Now try converting your vision into SMART goals. Write them down! Your vision of the future should be starting to take the form of a clear path or plan.

    One of the keys to an effective action plan is keeping the plan simple. It's often easy, when faced with challenging and exciting new goals, to take on too much too quickly. This can increase the chances of failing and of feeling frustrated, which can then increase the chances of slipping back into old habits. When making changes, it's often slow and steady that wins the race.

    Take a look at your SMART goals. What small but significant step could you take today that would move you closer to those goals? What can you do today that will make your life (even a little bit) better? If you can take a small step forward each day and each week, these small steps will accumulate and before too long your small steps will have taken you a long way.

    For each goal write out a brief plan that starts from today and finishes at the time or date you specified. Be realistic about the time frame and write down any significant milestones that fall within your plan. How will you know if you are half way, or a third of the way there? What are the key steps that you want to achieve? These might be monthly, weekly or daily. What are the steps that you will need to take to meet these milestones? Start breaking your plan down into achievable chunks and write it all down. Now you're starting to build your action plan!

    To help you with this process, consider this example:

    SMART goal:
    My aim is to increase my fitness level. My goal is to work out at the gym at least three times per week and walk the dog at least once on the weekend. I would like to achieve this goal by March 2002.

    ACTION PLAN:
    1. Join the gym - today. Things are reasonably quiet at work so I can get there at lunch time. (Note how I have set a specific task with a specific time).

    2. Book in for a first fitness assessment next Monday. I'll allow a week for the membership to be processed and then call. I'll write it in my diary now.

    3. Ensure that I have the required gym gear (shoes etc.). I'll get everything ready tonight, as soon as I get home from work.

    4. Check the schedule and consider the best gym attendance times (and back up times). I'll do this on the train this afternoon. I'll pick up a class timetable from the gym at lunch time and decide which classes I'd most like to take.

    5. Map out dog walking route. I can do this on Saturday morning while the kids are at sport (note again the importance of setting a specific time). Consider any other weekend obligations and the best time for dog walking. I'll have time to think about this on Sunday night, when it's quiet and other chores are done.

    Now, its up to you to apply this to your own goals and next we'll focus on maintaining motivation while you work your way through these steps.

    Anticipate your obstacles and find ways around them. Review your action plans and write down any potential obstacles that could prevent you from achieving your goals. Brainstorm simple steps that you can take to avoid these obstacles or to overcome any setbacks that they present. Write it all down.

    Stay optimistic
    Write down all of the reasons why you will be successful in making these changes and keep the list in a handy place. Whenever you need motivation to stick to your goals, refer to it and remind yourself of how great life will be once you have made these changes.

    Do one small thing to work towards your goals, every day
    Even the tiniest of steps every day will make a difference to your momentum and motivation. It might only be a phone call or some notes that you make but it will ensure that you keep making progress and remind you of the importance of your goals.

    Monitor your progress
    Try keeping a diary or journal of the steps that you are taking towards your goals. Use it to write down each task that you commit to doing. Once you have completed a task, mark it off with a big tick. This is a great way to actually see your progress measured against your goals.

    Share your goals with someone supportive
    It can be really helpful to tell someone else about your goals, particularly when you know that he or she will be supportive and enthusiastic. Then, if you're struggling with your motivation, a quick, enthusiastic word of encouragement from that person might just be enough to get you back on the right path.

    If all is going to plan, you should now be confidently taking steps to make changes in your life and reach your goals for 2004. But even the most successful people with the best plans face difficulties at times. The first thing to remember if this happens is that it is not uncommon and is certainly not a reason to give up! Setbacks need only be temporary. Relapse is a normal part of the change process. Remember, making changes is not always easy. Significant changes to the way we do or think about things takes conscious, focused effort and sometimes it's easy to let this lapse.

    For extra Tips, including what you should do if you find yourself slipping back into old habits please visit http://www.depressionet.com.au/inspiration/making_changes.html or if you would like to know more about Tim Sharp or seek his professional assistance please visit http://www.depressionet.com.au/resources/psychs/tsharp.html

    HAIR TODAY…
    …GONE TOMORROW!

    As we are all aware depression does not discriminate and it takes no notice of age. So it is incredibly inspiring to watch as some of Australia’s young people take charge of their lives and stand tall against the beast that is depression. If they have fear in the face of depression, they hide it well as they find the courage to stand up in their communities and play their part in reducing the stigma and creating awareness of depression and related issues.

    One such young woman is Briony!

    After months of hard work getting sponsorships and donations, our superstar fundraiser Briony reached the big day in her campaign, Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. On the 31 of August she shaved off her long locks and auctioned her plaits to raise awareness and funds for depression! She raised over $3000 and the team would just like to say a VERY BIG THANKYOU. Briony is indeed an inspiration for all and an incredible example of what ‘people like us’ can achieve.

    Briony's aim in carrying out this event was to raise awareness of depression in a community still grieving a suicide and lacking an understanding of depression. Her lack of hair is a symbol of the hardships faced by people with depression. Also, as depression does not just "go away", so to Briony's hair will not just grow back instantly.

    ECHO PROJECT

    The ‘Echo’ project was inspired by one of the members of our messageboard and chat – Echo, who is 17 yo. Echo found depressioNet while searching for information about depression on the Internet during a very low period in her life. A few months later, with the support of people at depressioNet she was organising Mental Health Week activities in her school and speaking at the school assembly about her experiences with depression. What a fabulous way to increase the awareness and understanding of depression with young people – from the inside out! A bit like an ‘underground movement’ really. The Echo project shares the depressioNet philosophy with a focus on supporting young people to help themselves and each other. If you would like more information or to join our Echo Newsletter emailing list, Please email Anna, our Young People Like Us co-ordinate at anna@depressioNet.com.au

    GRAPPLE: COMING TO GRIPS WITH MENTAL HEALTH
    AN INTERACTIVE JOURNEY

    The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) has recently launched an interactive CD-ROM to increase awareness about mental health

    The CD-ROM called Grapple takes you on a journey of discovery through the Wellbeing Oasis, Problem Rainforest and Disorders Mountains where you will learn about mental wellbeing, mental health problems and mental disorders.

    Grapple is designed for everyone - young and old, male and female, professional and lay person - who wishes to know more about mental health. It will be of particular interest to those who have been touched by the experience of mental health problems or disorders and to their carers, family members and friends. Those who deal with people as part of their work such as managers, supervisors and the clergy or in a social capacity such as sports and youth leaders will all find interest and hopefully enjoyment in the contents of Grapple. Grapple is also suitable for older age school children.

    Grapple is different from most of the mental health resources available in that its focus is on learning the meaning of words and terms used in mental health. By working through Grapple the user will be better able to understand the vast and often confusing array of information out there on the Web, in pamphlets and books. People will be better able to understand what their doctor is talking about.

    Grapple contains text, animated graphics, audio, Internet links, news articles and educational quizzes to inform, advise, question, challenge and reward the user. It provides a stimulating and informative learning experience.

    Further information on Grapple can be obtained from Robert Williams at the RFDS Cairns Base, contact details Ph: 07 4053 1952 or E-mail: rwilliamsrfds@bigpond.com

    SLEEP BETTER WITHOUT DRUGS: DR DAVID MORAWETZ

    Sleep Better Without Drugs is an Australian self-help program with a success rate of over 80%, that has been developed over 17 years by Australian Psychologist and sleep expert, Dr David Morawetz. Consisting of a book, 3 audio cassettes, and a quick reference card, this 4 to 6 week program may be of real value to depression sufferers.

    It has been documented that depression can cause insomnia.   Dr Morawetz has found in his experience as a clinical psychologist, that the reverse is also true: long-standing insomnia can cause depression.   In a recent study, Dr Morawetz found that 70% of the insomnia sufferers who were depressed before treatment and learned to sleep significantly better were no longer depressed or were significantly less depressed, once their sleep had improved.

    The objective of Sleep Better Without Drugs is to lift depression by increasing sleeping time. The program has been clinically tested and refined, with follow-up studies that have shown a success rate of 80 to 87% in people from all walks of life.   It enables people to identify their particular sleeping problem and then provides more than 50 strategies to improve sleep. Doctors, counsellors and patients have only praise for this innovative program, saying that it has improved their life, made working easier and often cured other problems, including depression, that they were taking prescription drugs for.

    To order a copy please visit: http://www.depressionet.com.au/shop/sleepbetter.html or email us to WIN a copy.

    WHAT’S GOING ON????

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

    ACT
    VYNE - Vision for Youth through knowledge and Education:
    VYNE operates within a health promoting framework with an emphasis on building resilience and community capacity . For Further information please contact VYNE Education /Project Officers, Irmgard Reid and Lisa Oxman on 02 6201 6155.

    VIC
    There’s Hope
    Recovery from mental illness is possible! Hear inspiring personal stories of recovery from people living with a mental illness. Please call 03 9840 9315

    NSW
    Meditation Classes
    Mahasiddha Buddhist Centre is based in Elizabeth Bay. The purpose of the centre is to provide a facility where people can learn about meditation. Call 02 9357 2257

    QLD
    Well Being Project
    Skills-Based Group Programs for Depression-Free Living. Irene MacFarlane Call: 07 3392 0498

    NSW
    Turning Negative to Positive
    This program helps you navigate through depressive episodes and gives you the skills to better deal with depressive episodes in the future. Call 02 9954 3699

    VIC
    Overcoming Shyness & Social Anxiety
    Catherine Madigan, psychologist, is running a group therapy treatment program for social anxiety sufferers 03 9819 3671

    SA
    Mood Disorders Association
    Support groups held through out SA. Please call 08 8221 5170

    VIC
    Bev Aisbett
    Bev Aisbett is the creator and facilitator of the "WORKING WITH IT" recovery program for sufferers of anxiety, which, since 1998, has steered hundreds of people towards greater freedom and recovery from this crippling condition. BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL BY RINGING ADAVIC ON 9853 8089

    QLD
    A New and Innovative Treatment Program for Depression Sufferers
    This is an innovative program for depression sufferers in the Queensland area. Phone 07 3300 6845 for more information.

    For more information about What’s On around Australian please visit: http://www.depressionet.com.au/whatson.html

    RESEARCH PROJECTS

    The more we learn about depression and related conditions, and the more we understand, the better for us all! depressioNet are supporting a number of research projects and we invite you to consider participating.

    SELF-REFERENT COGNITION IN DEPRESSED AND EUTHYMIC MOOD STATES:
    Males and Females aged between 19 and 65 years who live in Melbourne's Metropolitan area and speak English as their first language are invited to participate in this study. An exciting new study is being conducted from Monash University entitled Self-Referent Cognition in Depressed and Euthymic Mood States. This research aims to significantly contribute to the understanding, prevention and treatment of depression and other emotional problems, thereby helping to alleviate the suffering of a great many people. To take part, simply telephone the researchers (Graeme Cochrane & Dr Wendy Crouch) on: 03 9723 5079

    PERCEPTUAL STUDY IN DEPRESSION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER:
    People aged between 18 and 55 years are required for a study investigating perceptual differences between affective disorders. Recently some Australian researchers have discovered a perceptual difference in people with affective disorders compared with people with no psychiatric history. This difference appears to be related to our natural ability to shift in how fast we see three-dimensional (3D) images. Hopefully this research will give us a better understanding of perceptual changes associated with affective disorders, and in particular may help us differentiate between people with unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. If you are interested in this study please feel free to contact Karen Hallam in the Department of Psychiatry at the Austin Hospital for further information or to discuss the research on 03 9496 5175.

    ATTITUDES TOWARDS PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPY:
    Males and Females aged between 18 and 65 years and are currently involved with the depressioNet messageboard and chat are invited to participate in this study. Requirements of participants: completion of two questionnaires. First questionnaire measures attitudes towards psychological therapy and the second measures levels of depression, anxiety and stress
    Location: This Project will be completed via the Internet
    Anticipated time for completion of questionnaires: 10-15 minutes
    Research Organisation: Dr Timothy Sharp and Associates
    Principal Researchers: Dr Timothy Sharp and Michelle Pritchard
    Contact details: Michelle Pritchard: ellep@psych.usyd.edu.au

    BIPOLAR AFFECTIVE DISORDER AND UNIPOLAR DEPRESSION STUDY
    People with bipolar affective disorder, unipolar (major) depression and their family members are invited to participate in a study conducted by the University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg. This study needs people who live in Melbourne, are between the ages of 18 – 65 and can attend 2 sessions between 7pm and 3am. This study is investigating the response of a hormone (melanotic) to bright light, which may in the future be a useful diagnostic tool for identification of people at risk for bipolar disorder. For further information on the study and an information sheet you can contact Ms Karen Hallam on 9496 5175 or email k.hallam@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au

    CONFIDENCE IN CONTROLLING BENZODIAZEPINES QUESTIONNAIRE:
    If you are currently being prescribed benzodiazepines, you can help us find out what situations make it easier or harder for people to cut down or quit benzodiazepine use by completing a questionnaire
    You will find the questionnaire at: http://www2.psy.uq.edu.au/webexp/anotherway/index.htm
    Contact Details: Jan Parr on 1800 003 472

    AN INVESTIGATION OF COMPULSIVE HOARDING, TS COGNITIVE FEATURES AND TREATMENT:
    Exclusions for this project include elderly patients and those with severe mental illness whose hoarding is part of a dementing or schizophrenic/psychotic pattern.
    The project aims to: To examine the symptoms that compulsive hoarders have; To compare whether compulsive hoarders differ in their thinking and beliefs about objects or possessions relative to other groups with or without other psychiatric difficulties; To examine whether compulsive hoarders differ in the ways they relate to their possessions compared to other groups with or without other psychiatric difficulties; To ask compulsive hoarders whether early childhood experiences have affected attitudes to keeping things; To examine whether people who hoard have specific memory difficulties; To pilot a program to treat sufferers of Compulsive Hoarding. Contact Details : Chris Mogan on 03 9420 1477 or Mike Kyrios on 03 8344 5572

    DEPRESSION AND HEART DISEASE STUDY:
    The following study is being conducted by Dr. David Barton at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and needs people who are able to visit The Alfred Hospital and The Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment for approximately 10 weeks. It is popularly believed that people die of a "broken heart." The mechanism as to why people with depression suffer more heart disease is unknown. The Baker Heart Research Institute is conducting research into the effects of depression on the heart. The study will involve taking antidepressant medication. If you are aged between 18 and 65 years, suffer from depression, and have no heart disease, diabetes or hypertension currently treated with medication you may be eligible. If you would like further information regarding the study, please call 03 9342 8946 or email: psychresearch@mh.org.au

    SUPPORT AND EDUCTION PROGRAM FOR BIPOLAR DISORDER OR DEPRESSION:
    This study is being conducted by Bernette Redwood from The University of New South Wales and needs people who can commit to attending eight (8) sessions at the Mood Disorders Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW.
    This research aims to explore the theory that when people have adequate knowledge about their illness they are more confident to deal with their diagnosis and communicate with family and friends. If you are interested in participating in the study please contact: Bernette Redwood at the Prince of Wales Hospital on 02 9557 2335 or 02 9382 3841.

    AUGMENTATION OF AN ANITDEPRESSANT:
    This study is being conducted by Professor Gordon Parker from The Mood Disorders Unit - Black Dog Foundation and needs people who live in Sydney and have a first or new episode of depression requiring treatment. This research is aimed at exploring the augmentation of an antidepressant for those with melancholeric depression. Prof. Gordon Parker is undertaking a study of those with melancholic depression who have a first or new episode of depression requiring treatment, and either never having previously received an antidepressant drug or not having received an antidepressant drug in the last three months. If you feel that you might be interested in assisting the study, and if you live in Sydney, please contact Prof. Parker 02 9382 4372

    TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION (TMS) A NEW TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION:
    Physical treatments are an important part of therapy for depression for many people. The physical treatments currently available are antidepressant medications and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), both of which are helpful to many people. A third option is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This is currently only offered through research studies. TMS can be used before people have tried antidepressants, eg for those who prefer not to take medication, or for those people who have troublesome side effects with medication or who have not improved with medication. If you are interested in taking part in this project, please call Dr. Colleen Loo or Vanessa at the Mood Disorders Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital on 02 9382 3711

    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RESEARCH PROJECTS:
    If you would like more information on the above Research Projects or to keep up to date with new projects, please visit http://www.depressionet.com.au/research_project.html

    AROUND THE OFFICE…
    BE PART OF THE TEAM

    depressioNet provides information , help and support for people living with depression, and their families and friends.

    The Visitor Care Team (VCT) is a group of caring people who has personal experience with depression and who understand how lonely and frightening depression can be. VCT members care for people in the chat room and message boards to ensure depressioNet is a safe place to share feelings and concerns. They also answer and forward emails, encouraging and helping people to locate good resources for recovery.

    Commitment could be as little as a few hours per week or as much time as you can give. No formal qualifications are required. What is important is that you are a caring person with an understanding of depression. Basic computer skills an advantage.

    For more information email team@depressionet.com.au or for more information on the VCT or other areas to volunteer in, please visit our volunteer information page at: http://www.depressionet.com.au/volunteer.html

    GOOD BUY DEPRESSION

    There are some great books that can help you to better understand and deal with depression. Here are some that come highly recommended by dNet visitors

    The Blue Day Book
    This tiny book consists of black and white photographs of animals 'experiencing the blues'. It's a 'blue day book' designed to make you smile and to realise that life ain't too bad after all. 'After all, the world is full of amazing discoveries' so 'never hang back. The narration is short and sweet, and the photographs are delightful.

    When Someone You Love Is Depressed
    How To Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself

    The Good Sleep Guide
    The Good Sleep Guide discusses the nature of sleep problems & in ten easy-to-follow chapters, helps the reader to discover how to achieve a good night's sleep.
    Attention is paid to conquering the worry and racing thoughts that are all to familiar to so many people

    HEALTHINSITE WELCOMES DEPRESSIONET

    HealthInsite is an Australian Government initiative, funded by the Department of Health and Ageing. It aims to improve the health of Australians by providing easy access to quality information about human health.
    Organisations and websites whose content has been accepted as a HealthInsite partner must go through the HealthInsite quality assessment process.
    We are delighted to announce that depressioNet is now an official HealthInsite partner!

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