The following is a collection of articles you may find interesting and/ or helpful, or just good reading! All are relevant in some way.
These are from various sources and have been reproduced within depressioNet.org.au with permission from the authors and copyright owners. Some will link to external websites for full articles or more information. ENJOY!
From the World Federation for Mental Health. These documents were prepared for World Mental Health day 2012 and contain a lot of information which will be relevant for the foreseeable future.
Depression News A direct link to a site providing current news items relating to depression
ScienceDaily: Depression News Another page providing relevant current news items
The ‘Depression – A Global Crisis’ is a 32 page document that contains general information and statistics about depression – as well as some handy ‘fact sheet’ type information (e.g. how to help someone with depression). The second – the Supplementary Material – is specifically for service providers.
Young people go online for help during tough times Reachout.com survey
The ReachOut.com National Survey 2012 has found that young people in distress look for help online rather than seek help from a mental health professional. The cross-sectional study of more than 3,600 young people under 25 found that 75% of participants were experiencing high to very high levels of psychological distress at the time of visiting ReachOut.com, yet the majority of them (60%) had never accessed professional help. inspire.org.au May 14, 2013 and ProBono Australia News May 16, 2013.
High Cost of Mental Health Revealed Medibank report
A new report, by private health insurer Medibank, has estimated the overall cost of supporting people with mental illness in Australia at $28.6 billion per year. And the Medibank/Nous Group report says that while substantial funding is being directed at mental health, the system needs to be better coordinated. ProBono Australia News, May 9, 2013
New Partnership to Make Workplaces Mental Health Friendly beyondblue and ACCI
A new partnership between depression Not for Profit beyondblue and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is set to focus on making Australian workplaces more mental health friendly. ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson and beyondblue chief Kate Carnell AO signed a Letter of Collaboration late last week. ProBono Australia News, April 11, 2013
Depression link for young women with insomnia sleep disorders a possible cause of depression
Young women with regular sleep problems have a four to fivefold increased risk for depression, a study of nearly 10,000 Australians has found. Experts say sleep disorders could be the hidden cause of depression in a huge proportion of young people, with changes in sleep behaviour potentially reaping benefits in physical and mental health down the track. theage.com.au April 6, 2013
Mental Health Service Goes Mobile Friendly access to on line service for young people
Young people can now use their smartphones and tablet devices to access an online mental health services staffed by qualified clinicians. Pro Bono Australia News, March 1, 2013
Mental Health Research Gets $10 Million Boost Victorian government grants
The Victorian Government has awarded $10 million to five innovative research projects into mental illness – including major Not for Profit and University research partnerships. Pro Bono Australia News, March 28, 2013.
Mental Health Spending on the Rise – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
The latest figures, released on the AIHW’s Mental Health Services in Australia website, show that after allowing for inflation, spending on mental health-related services increased to almost $6.9 billion in 2010-11, an increase of about $450 million from 2009-10. Pro Bono Australia News, March 27, 2013.
New Partnership to Tackle Mental Health in the Workplace beyondblue and Australian Workers Union
Mental health Not for Profit, beyondblue has formed a partnership with the Australian Workers Union (AWU) to tackle depression and anxiety in the workplace. Pro Bono Australia News, February 20, 2013
Victoria Legal Aid cuts vital mental health legal serviced media release
The Federation of Community Legal Centres is calling for the immediate reversal of a decision late last week by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) to cut funding for the Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC), an independent community legal centre providing representation, advice and advocacy for people living with a mental illness in Victoria. Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria February 12, 2012.
Research Centres to Target Substance Use and Suicide clinical and research experts united
Two new national research centres have been launched into the most pressing mental health issues affecting the Australian community – substance use and suicide. The centres were launched in Sydney by Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and Federal Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler. Pro Bono Australia January 31, 2013.
beyondblue Stands Up to the Insurance Industry campaign against discriminatory policies
Depression Not for Profit beyondblue has begun a campaign to fight what it claims are the insurance industry’s discriminatory policies against Australians with a mental illness – calling on the Federal Government to strengthen anti-discrimination laws. Pro Bono Australia January 24, 2013
How do we keep a person with a mental illness safe from suicide? – Q & A session
LIFE News, the online newsletter of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, recently published a Q&A session with SANE Australia’s Jack Heath and Sarah Coker. Posted January 23, 2013.
Online Initiatives Launched to Reduce Workplace Stress free programs launched by beyondblue
beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said that the programs, which are accessed online via the beyondblue website, offer interactive activities and real-life video stories to help workers recognise symptoms of depression and anxiety, look after their own mental health and that of their colleagues who may be experiencing problems. Pro Bono Australia, December 18, 2012.
Committee hears of veterans with mental health issues Interview of former Chief of Army
A former Chief of Army has told a parliamentary inquiry that there are potentially thousands of current and former soldiers with mental health issues as a result of serving in Afghanistan and other deployments over the past two decades. abc.net.au November 28, 2012
Depression in Men Indicators, Symptoms, Help and Treatment
While women are more likely to experience depression, men are less likely to talk about experiencing depression and are at greater risk of their depression going unrecognised and untreated. This is thought to relate to several factors. Victorian government Better Health Channel website. Posted here November 29, 2012.
National Report Card On Mental Health ‘Confronting’ First report by Mental Health Commission
The Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, Professor Allan Fels, has described Australia’s first report card into mental health and suicide as confronting. Probono Australia News, November 27, 2012.
Archer 're-enactment' keeps legend alive and focuses a new light on depression.
Australian pentathalon olympian says long-distance horse riding has things in common with depression: ''It's a long struggle and you're often on your own.'' smh.com.au October 2, 2012
More Australians calling for help Media release by SANE Australia
More than 10,000 Australians contacted SANE Australia’s Helpline in the last 12 months, seeking advice for mental illness and suicide-prevention issues. Sane Australia October 5, 2012.
Historic meeting of non-government organisations influencing COAG plans for mental health
The inaugural meeting of the Australian Council of Non-Government Organisations (CONGO) will see members of the sector discussing issues and challenges experienced by those designing and delivering mental health policy and services. Measureable action will be high on the agenda as the non-government mental health community comes together formally for the first time at Hotel Realm on Tuesday 9 October 2012.
Australian Parliament recognises World Mental Health Day
The Hon. Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health will join fellow parliamentarians and mental health sector advocates and stakeholders at a breakfast to officially launch World Mental Health Day 2012 at the House of Representatives’ Alcove, Parliament House from 7.30am on 10 October 2012.
Allan Fels on mental health and suicide prevention An address to the National Press Club
The National Mental Health Commission is a new, independent body established to tell the truth about mental health services in Australia – the good and the bad, the gaps and the shortcomings. And it’s of great significance that we are located in the Prime Minister’s portfolio. The Conversation, August 1, 2012
Depression and Antidepressants Online Knowledge Hub Launched New NPS service
To help people be medicine wise, NPS has launched a new online knowledge hub on depression and antidepressant medicines, which covers many of the questions asked via Medicines Line. healthinsite.gov.au June 12 2012
Study finds why antidepressants work better for some Reuters
British scientists have identified biological markers in the blood which should help doctors match patients to the best type of treatment for depression. reuters.com September 19 2012
We need to stop thousands of Australians from falling through the cracks Patrick McGorry
Cuts to the Better Access program – which helps people pay for their treatment – exacerbated an already serious problem, and a large number of Australians with more persistent and complex problems find themselves marooned with no access to care. news.com.au May 7th 2012.
Media Partnership a Lifeline for Crisis Chat Service news.com.au partners with Lifeline Online
A national news website, news.com.au, has partnered with Lifeline Online to raise money for a new crisis chat service. Pro Bono Australia May 3rd 2012.
Beyond Blue targets anxiety disorders National campaign to raise awareness being considered
TWELVE years after Beyond Blue began raising awareness about depression, the nonprofit organisation is preparing to set its sights on anxiety.
Grief and Mental Illness Calls for prolonged grief to be medicalised
Professor Richard Bryant told SBS’ Insight program he wants a new psychiatric disorder for bereavement which would apply when acute grieving goes on for longer than 12 months. “A serious condition threatens 10 to 15 per cent of people from six to 12 months…."
Gillard Government offers $200M for better mental health services Announcement April 13 2012
The Council of Australian Governments today agreed help improve the care and support provided to people living with severe and persistent mental illness and complex care needs through a new National Partnership Agreement. The Prime Minister's website April 13 2012
Mental Health Workforce Growing in Australia Increases in psychiatrists and mental health nurses
The figures show that the highest rate of psychiatrists (including psychiatrists-in-training) was in major cities, while the highest rate of mental health nurses was in inner regional areas. Pro Bono Australia April 12 2012.
Hickie defends Better Access cuts – Australian Doctor interviews Professor Ian Hickie
In an exclusive interview with Australian Doctor Professor Ian Hickie defends the cuts to Better Access and explains why the system failed everyone, including GPs. Australian Doctor March 23 2012
Mental health draft (WA) detrimental to children – Changes recommended by Commissioner
WA's Commissioner for Children and Young People has recommended an overhaul of draft laws which propose children as young as 12 could consent to treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, psychosurgery and sterilisation without parental permission. The West Australian March 22 2012
Burning Calories at the Gym Prevents Work Burnout – Study – Job Burnout and Depression
Research shows that employees who regularly exercise don't just bolster physical health, but also safeguard psychological well-being. More precisely, those who accomplished a weekly minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity were about half as likely to burn out or get depressed as those who did not exert themselves. theatlantic.com March 7 2012
Internet a Vital Connection for People with Mental Illness – Report by SANE
Many people with a mental illness are turning to the internet and social media to manage their lives, overcome isolation and stay connected, according to new research by the national mental health charity SANE Australia. Pro Bono Australia March 7 2012
Insurance Website Assists Australians with Mental Illness New website for help with insurance
Australians with experience of mental illness now have a new website resource to turn to for assistance with insurance, through the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) and depression Not for Profit, beyondblue. Pro Bono Australia February 22 2012
The 'massive highs and miserable lows' of bipolar disorder The condition can be lethal
Bipolar is a disorder characterised by mood swings, from excessive highs to excessive lows. A person with Bipolar I has episodes of mania – sometimes with psychotic features – and episodes of depression. smh.com.au February 17 2012
Spinning out the public The government's changes to medicare for access to psychological therapy
This article expresses the view that the Government is confused about the people who use the Better Access program and that the evidence from large-scale evaluation research is being plainly distorted to rationalise cost-cutting. betteraccess.net February 6 2012
Psychologists welcome restoration of services under Medicare Interim measure welcomed
Professor Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of the APS, welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will, from March 1, allow an extra six sessions of Medicare-subsidised mental health services as an interim measure to treat those people with exceptional needs. Australian Psychological Society February 1 2012
Depression linked to heart attacks Depression may increase risk
A study by Australia's Charles Sturt University has found people with depression could be at greater risk of a heart attack or heart disease. skynews.com.au January 5 2012
Disorders diagnosed to suit any condition New conditions proposed for Manual of Mental Disorders
New conditions proposed for the fifth edition of the psychiatrist’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is due to be finalised next year, have caused an international outcry. smh.com.au December 4 2011
Psychiatrist Sidney Bloch talks about psychiatry Confusion and fears about mental illness
"I have learned through my clinical and research endeavours that I have many validated treatment strategies at my disposal to assist people with troubled minds." smh.com.au November 28 2011
Mental health counselling cuts hit hard Number of sessions paid by Medicare reduced
Following a $580 million cut to the Better Access program in November, the number of yearly counselling sessions mental health patients can claim from Medicare dropped from 18 to 10. smh.com.au November 28 2011
Policy to be run by those who have battled depression New NSW Mental Health Commission
The NSW minister for mental health, Kevin Humphries, says it means that the commission’s work will be informed by the direct and personal experience of mental illness of one of its senior officials. smh.com.au November 24 2011
Nearly quarter of global workforce depressed New study from management consultant firm
Of 1,200 respondents, 92 percent linked the current state of their mental health to job performance huffingtonpost.com November 11 2011.
Depression treatment beyond Jeff Kennett Psychologist cautions against an oversimplified view
After 10 years of good groundwork, do we need something new from Beyond Blue and other key mental health institutions? nsw.psnews (published here November 5 2011)
Teen depression: what you need to know The prevalence of depression has people stumped
The reality is that the incidence of adolescent depression is increasing. Research indicates that the average on-set age of depression in 1960 was thirty years or older. Today it is fifteen years or younger. mamamia.com.au November 4 2011
Men lost, confused and insecure and that's good to know say therapists
More than twice the number of men are accessing Medicare-funded mental health services compared with five years ago, official figures show. At the same time, therapists are reporting more men are coming to seek help as they struggle to find their place. news.com.au October 26 2011
It’s time to move on from ECT’s shocking past New criticisms are emerging
Discussions about the treatment of severely depressed patients are important, but in order to have a robust community debate, we need to set a few things straight about the risks and benefits of ECT. The Conversation September 29 2011
Proof of the pill: cutting out the guesswork in prescribing antidepressants
Research remains speculative about how the effects of antidepressants are produced. Researchers are trying to answer the questions to cut out some of the guess work out of prescribing antidepressants. The Conversation September 23 2011
Depression and anxiety disorders Telling the difference
While depression and anxiety are characterised as distinct syndromes, they co-occur in over half of all cases. So are they different presentations of the same disorder? The Conversation August 29 2011
Selling sickness or dulling pain Pros and cons of antidepressants
Are health professionals treating normal sadness as a clinical disorder and over-prescribing antidepressants? Or is depression a disease manufactured by Big Pharma to sell more antidepressants, as some have suggested? The Conversation June 17 2011
Bosses ignorant of mental health issues Survey of people who have a mental illness
SANE Australia’s survey of 520 people found most mentally ill people get no understanding from their employer and many find it hard to keep their job because of a lack of flexibility. ABC Radio National, August 25th 2011
Suicide girls on antidepressants banned in Britain Antidepressants linked to juvenile suicide
TWO 16-year-old girls who hanged themselves while under the watch of Queensland's child safety officials had been prescribed antidepressants that have been linked to juvenile suicide and banned from use by young people in Britain. The Australian, August 25th 2011
Miracle at The Gap: the day Nellie tried to end it and came out alive Nellie saved by a freak wave
Through an extraordinary, once-in-a-century quirk of fate, a freak wave engulfs the rocks below with such a flood that she hits deep water instead. She's alive! The Sydney Morning Herald, August 22nd 2011
From the Darkness Within The increasing prevalence of depression and anxiety in males
Men are increasingly prone to these conditions, with dangerous, often-fatal consequences. Men are much less likely to talk about their problems or to seek help, and in the past 30 years the suicide rate for males aged 15 to 24 years has tripled. theweeklyreview.com.au, June 2nd 2011
Should children be given anti-depressants? Arguments for and against medicating children
Now news has emerged children aged six and under are being prescribed the drugs at a soaring rate and antidepressants are once again setting off alarm bells. The Australian Women's Weekly, May 30th 2011
Budget 2011-12: Patrick McGorry on mental health
Professor Patrick McGorry talks about the new funding for mental health. ABC, May 11th 2011
Love, Wisdom, Motherhood: A long time campaigner on mental health issues
Jessica Rowe talks about her experience and book in the linked podcast. ABC, May 5th 2011
Gene linked to depression: suspect gene linked to major depression
German scientists made the discovery after comparing DNA from more than 15,000 depressed and healthy patients. The Sydney Morning Herald, April 29 2011
Doctors issue warning on Facebook use: Possible benefits and risks
Some connect Facebook with depression but others say using the site is not "going to somehow infect kids with depression". news.com.au, March 28 2011
Deep Brain Stimulation: Electrode treatment aiding mentally ill
deep brain stimulation – was emerging as a safe and effective treatment for severe depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The Age, March 2nd 2011
Choose Life: Reducing youth suicide
Dr Jane Burns talks about a major new initiative aimed at reducing youth suicide, and encourages people to talk more. The Age, February 14th 2011
Depression No Joke for Blokes: Depression cuts years off the lives of Australian men
Depression cuts more years off the lives of Australian men than liver disease and colon cancer. The Advertiser, December 20 2010
Call To Fill Mental Health Void: Improving access to psychological therapies
Australia should trial a UK-based program that is helping people with moderate depression and anxiety, and which could fill a major gap in existing services, says a leading psychiatrist. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 24, 2010
Disease Model Could Limit Treatment: An opinion
An interesting article written by a practicing psychologist, Lyn Bender. Her main argument is that the medical model of depression is too simplistic and not overly helpful. A more helpful view of depression is a biographical model which looks at the person’s story. November 16, 2010
Politicians hailed for facing up to depression: Depression long linked to politics
Their high public profile also helps explain why a rash of MPs at state and federal level – most recently the former prime minister Bob Hawke – have revealed their struggles with the illness. July 16 2010
Dads Need PND Advice: Australian websites lack support for Dads
A review of popular parenting and mental health websites has shown how, when it comes to dealing with postnatal depression, dads are often overlooked. March 8, 2010
Unhealthy Diet Could Fuel Depression In Women: A good diet may support mental well-being
Women who suffer from depression and anxiety may want to take a look at their diet as a possible contributor to these conditions, study findings suggest. The Sydney Morning Herald, January 15, 2010
Many Still Believe Depression Comes With Motherhood: Mothers less likely to seek help
Most people think depression is a ''normal'' part of pregnancy and women do not need treatment, according to a survey by the mental health group beyondblue. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 16, 2009
Tai Chi May Fight Obesity, Depression: Initial trial extremely encouraging
A Tai Chi-based exercise program is being hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against depression, diabetes and obesity. A research project was under way when this article was published. The Age, January 20, 2010
Sleep Deprivation Tied To Depression: Hyper-arousal is not just a problem at night
Up to 10 per cent of the Australian population suffers from chronic insomnia, a leading expert says, and for them it's a debilitating condition with potentially only one upside. The Sydney Morning Herald, July 31, 2009
Is Depression Overdiagnosed? - A debate by two of Australia's leading psychiatrists
Rates of diagnosis of depression have risen steeply in recent years. Gordon Parker believes this is because current criteria are medicalising sadness, but Ian Hickie argues that many people are still missing out on lifesaving treatment. Published August 16, 2007
The Bottom Line – Thoughts on taking control of depression
I think most of us are searching for that 'bottom line'… an understanding of the point to our painful existence. As many of you know, the journey to the bottom is loathsome. Nathan shares his thoughts on ways to turn some of the negatives into positives for us, and what works for him.
Slipping Through The Cracks – Traversing Australia's Mental Health System
For the 1 in 5 Australians who suffer from depression Chloe’s story is all too familiar. The battle for most does not stop with the illness itself, once diagnosed, sufferers find themselves navigating the wreck that is our public mental health system, looking for care that will never come, before finally falling through the cracks.
The Evolution of Depression – Does it have a role?
An interesting philosophical discussion in the form of an ABC Radio interview conducted by Natasha Mitchell with 2 evolutionary biologists. January, 2005
Stop Your Depression Before It Starts – An overview of possible preventative strategies
Until we can find out for certain what chemical changes occur when someone becomes depressed, and find out what triggers them, we will not even begin to be able to discover whether one can prevent depression.
Ethnicity and Depression
Ethnicity may play a role in how people respond to antidepressants, with new research showing that those of Chinese background are more sensitive to the medication than Caucasians. October 25, 2004
Development And Exploration Of A New Model For Understanding Depression
This paper presents a model of depression that is an elaboration of the currently dominant 'biopsychosocial' model. It is very long, (approx 6,000 words) and includes a good overview of possible causes and treatments for depression.
Critical Condition - A parents nightmare journey with his son
Jason Bond suffered from a depressive illness. He was 20 years old when he killed himself after being discharged from a Melbourne hospital. Here, Graeme Bond recalls the events leading up to his son’s death, which he blames partly on the poor state of mental health care in Victoria. (The Age, March 17th 2004)
The Ageing of Discontent - The disturbing reality of suicide in our elderly
Every morning my friend visits a Melbourne nursing home to help his mother get out of bed and dressed for the day. Every morning, without fail, she tells him that she wishes she were dead. (The Australian, February 2004)
Depression a key suspect in dementia cases
Feeling depressed for long periods without receiving treatment creates degenerative changes to the brain, making sufferers more susceptible to dementia later in life, new research has revealed. (News Limited, 21-22/02/2004)
Around 800,000 Australian adults suffer from depression every year, and on average, one in five people will experience clinical depression at some time in their lives. Depression is the leading cause of suicide, yet it is often misunderstood and regarding as somewhat less serious than a physical illness. (Women's Fitness and Health, March 2004)
Some Thoughts on the Causes of My Depression
Long term depression sufferer Nigel Sinnott shares an honest and well-researched discussion of the possible causes of his own depression.