New program puts the brakes on depression roundabout

January 18, 2006

A University of Queensland researcher is offering people with depression a new, free program that is confidential and accessible to people across Australia, including those in remote areas.

"The year-long program is for adults who are not depressed at the moment, but who have had repeated bouts of depression," said UQ psychologist Professor David Kavanagh, who is working with researchers from the Universities of Wollongong and Canberra.

"People who volunteer for the program, called 'On Track', receive a series of letters or emails with advice on how to stay well.

"The letters help them stay in control by creating individualised plans.

"They send back information on what they have tried, and how they are feeling.

"We will give them feedback on their progress, and access to a toll-free telephone line for additional assistance. We also keep their doctors informed.

"This program avoids the need for face-to-face appointments that can be expensive and time-consuming - especially if you live outside a city or regional centre," Professor Kavanagh said.

"The program is based on a model that we have shown is successful in helping people take control of alcohol problems," Professor Kavanagh said.

"Volunteers will help us determine how well this program can help people with a history of depression - a serious illness that strikes more than one in six Australians at least once.

"About half of the people who experience depression have a period of recovery over the next year. Unfortunately, many of these people have more episodes.

"The more episodes they have, the more likely it is to return. It is also more likely if they stop taking medication too soon, or they still have some symptoms.

"People with depression are also more likely to smoke, be less active, and have an unhealthy diet. They are more likely to develop serious physical illnesses, and tend to die earlier.

"It doesn't have to be like this. The truth is that people with depression have a great deal to offer, and the start of the year is an ideal time to get off the depression roundabout and get back on track," Professor Kavanagh said.

People who want to take part in the program can call 1300 300 164 at any time and leave a message.
Media inquiries: Professor David Kavanagh +61 419 479 227 or Fiona Kennedy at UQ Communications +61 733 651 088 or +61 413 380 012.

Research Australia

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to