Authors: McGuiness M., Sundram S., Morton-Allen E., Rutter A., Chamley W., Trauer T., Cole N., Bellingham K., VIC
Event: 2003 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Awareness of Depression & Suicide
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The personal, family and social costs of major depression are enormous and will continue to escalate in the coming decades (Murray and Lopez 1996). Increasing public knowledge about major depression has an important role in decreasing this morbidity and mortality (Jorm et al., 1997; Jorm, 2000). Rarely have methods of increasing public knowledge been comprehensively evaluated. The aim of the Depression Awareness Research Project (DARP) was to develop, implement and evaluate a community-based model to raise knowledge about major depression. The DARP was conceived as a potentially cost-effective and sustainable model applicable across a diversity of socio-cultural settings. Initially, clinical information, community resources and education materials about major depression were reviewed. This informed the development of a training package incorporating information about depression and public presentation skill modules. In partnership with four community agencies and one local government, DARP was implemented in five Victorian regions. This involved the recruitment of participants into weekend training programs. These participants were then supported in presenting information about major depression to their communities. To evaluate the effectiveness of the model pre and post questionnaires assessing basic knowledge about major depression were undertaken by participants and all consenting attendees at presentations.