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Breaking the cycle

New depression resource for healthcare workers.

Talking about depression helps break the “fear factor” of seeing it as a weakness instead of an illness. People aren’t ashamed to talk about or seek help for diabetes or asthma, so why would depression be any different?

beyondblue, the national depression initiative, has developed a new resource for healthcare workers which provides practical strategies and guidance on recognising the signs of depression in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The free DVD, Depression Yarns, contains two case studies which aim to start a conversation with someone who may be showing symptoms.

Royal Darwin Hospital senior social worker and Indigenous mental health advocate, Josephine Battaglini, speaks on the DVD of her experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the NT.

“Depression Yarns is a powerful resource for health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It emphasises the broader social issues surrounding aboriginal people and the seriousness of depression,” she says.

“Some health workers, though well-meaning, are often pre-emptive in thinking that a client is ‘just a bit down’ when they are actually spiralling further down into severe depression. I’m hopeful this DVD will influence a greater response time in the diagnoses and treatment of depression with people in communities,” she says.

beyondblue CEO Leonie Young said: “Much more needs to be done to address depression, anxiety and related drug and alcohol problems in Indigenous communities. Over time and across Australia, generations of Indigenous people have experienced trauma, grief and loss.

“Depression rates are often high and worsened by ongoing stigma and poor access to mental health services, particularly in rural and remote areas. The DVD delivers culturally-appropriate information, realistic advice and professional guidance.”

To order Depression Yarns or to find out more about depression and related disorders call 1300 22 4636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au

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