Authors: DIRS PTY LTD (depressioNet)
Event: 2003 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Consumer or Carer Program or Service
Abstract: depressioNet.com.au is an independent resource for information, help and 24-hour peer based support created by and for "people like us" - Australians from a variety of backgrounds who live with depression and related conditions and our families and friends.depressioNet.com.au is more than an Internet site. Our comprehensive information resource compliments our resource / referral and online communications services. depressioNet helps people living with depression and related conditions to locate health care professionals and a range of relevant services in their local area. Description of Facility/Organisation: depressioNet.com.au was originally created by one Australian with depression as a small, personal philanthropic project in June 2000. 6 months later it was a finalist in the Australian Financial Review Internet Industry awards and the Number 1 ranking health and medical information site in Australia and has maintained it's position in the top 10 ever since. This happened with no advertising and is a powerful testimony to the need that exists for the services we provide and our unique ability to meet this need. depressioNet has earned a reputation for quality and integrity and is well respected by government, the healthcare industry and the community. Approximately 37% of our 15,000 visitors each week are now referred to us by healthcare professionals. The other 63% find us by word of mouth from friends and family or by searching the Internet looking for the information and support they find difficult to find in the 'real' world due to isolation caused by geography, disability, stigma etc. Most importantly, the feedback from the people we exist to serve is overwhelmingly positive. depressioNet is about working with government, mental health industry professionals and organisations, employers, community organisations and most importantly, people like us - Australians living with depression, to significantly increase the proportion of Australians who seek help and treatment for depression and associated conditions. It is about providing a safety net for those who have sought treatment and failed – for any reason. Our philosophy is one of collaboration not competition, in theory and daily practice. Type: Charitable 'people focussed' organisation. Freehills have now established a new company 'depressioNet' with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and Income Tax Exempt Charity (ITEC) endorsement with the ATO. The depressioNet.com.au site and service is due to be handed over to this new company within the next 2 months (awaiting 'establishment grant' application approval from Fed Gov't to ensure financial safety net for Directors). All the directors of depressioNet are people who live with depression and related conditions. Area Serviced: Australia & New Zealand; Budget: Annual Budget approximately $300,000; Income (Funding) Sources: Partnerships ($160Kpa), Donations ($20Kpa) Consultancy etc ($60Kpa); Project Specific Philanthropic Grants (60Kpa); Staff Numbers: 4 full time, 2 part time, employees; 22 permanent volunteers; Number of People: As at 31st March: approx 15,000 visitors each week.
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