Saturday, 03 July 2021

City Of Belmont Supports Establishment Of Alliance Against Depression

The City of Belmont has partnered with local not-for profit organisation, Community Matrix to address depression and suicide prevention by supporting the establishment of the Belmont Alliance Against Depression (AAD).

AAD is an approach based on evaluated trials and is recognised as the world’s best practice for the care and treatment of people with depression and in the reduction of suicidal acts.

The AAD is an integrated, community-led, clinical approach to tackling depression and suicide.

City of Belmont Chief Executive Officer John Christie said the aim is to raise awareness of depression - an illness which can be treated.

“Reducing the stigma about depression and encouraging people to seek their GP’s support is the key before symptoms become severe,” Mr Christie said.

“The AAD approach acknowledges the impact of mental health in our community. It works towards creating a community of support in a local area to take on the mission of talking about and dealing with depression and suicide,” he said.

The AAD in Western Australia is being supported by the AAD Coordination Centre at WA Primary Health Alliance whose role is to support interested local Alliances establish by providing access to the framework, localised resources, networking, training and ongoing support.

"It is a whole of community response," Felicity Hatzis from Community Matrix said.

"Simultaneously engaging GPs and care providers, the general public, community organisations, the media, people living with depression and their families is required to make Belmont Alliance Against Depression a success,” Ms Hatzis said.

Establishing a local AAD involves:
  • Public awareness campaigns to reduce the stigma associated with depression and suicide;
  • Identifying local support for high-risk groups, patients and their families;
  • Training for health professionals, including GPs; and
  • Educational activities on depression and suicide for community gatekeepers.
 “The international evidence is that this leads to increased access to primary mental health care, improved identification and treatment rates of depression by general practitioners and specialised mental health professionals, and improved service and program support for people at risk as well as their family and carers,” Ms Hatzis said.

Community members interested in becoming involved in the Belmont Alliance Against Depression should contact the City of Belmont on 9477 7219.
 
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