Over one million people in Australia have a family member or friend with depression and supporting a person with depression can take a toll on the carer’s own mental health and wellbeing. However, carers frequently report difficulties in connecting with services that are inclusive or which specifically consider their needs.
Partners in Depression is a six week group education program for those who love, live with or care for a person experiencing depression. It was developed and piloted in the Hunter Valley, Australia and evaluation of the pilot indicated that it met participants’ expectations, addressed the stated information goals and was associated with a significant improvement in participants’ psychological distress (as measured by the DASS).
In 2009, Hunter Institute of Mental Health began a national dissemination of Partners in Depression. Four hundred mental health professionals were trained in the program so that they could deliver it in their local community.
To date, over 150 groups have been run and over 1000 people have attended the program. Further, Partners in Depression is now more than just a group education course, it is also about raising awareness of the role of carers of people with depression, extending the evidence base into what we know about supporting family members and friends of people with depression, supporting innovation to enable the program to be available more widely, as well as providing opportunities for carers to connect with others.
Elena will provide an overview of the many facets of the Partners in Depression program.
Findings will also be presented about the impact of the Partners in Depression course on the mental health and wellbeing of participants, as delivered through the national dissemination project.
Elena Terol, Hunter Institute of Mental Health will present at the:
13th International Mental Health Conference, “Positive Change — Investing in Mental Health” 6th to the 8th of August 2012, on the Gold Coast. http://anzmh.asn.au/conference