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Mood Memos Tackles the Depression Epidemic with a Little e-Help
Date:6/4/2010

The University of Melbourne, Australia, is studying a new technique for preventing depression, by using email as a cost-effective health promotional tool for mild depression. The Mood Memos study will trial the effectiveness of regular emails with information and coping advice for depression symptoms

(PRWEB) June 4, 2010 -- One in five people experience depression at some stage of their lives and depression has an enormous economic burden, tens of billions of dollars each year in the US alone. Is there a way of preventing depression before it gets too bad, and save millions in the process? The Mood Memos study at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, The University of Melbourne, is applying a 21st century approach to this problem, by using the Internet and email technology to help prevent depression. The Mood Memos study is an email-based mental health promotion campaign targeting people suffering some depression symptoms, who are at great risk of worsening into full depression.

Professor Tony Jorm, study investigator, says “knowledge about depression can be poor, and many are not aware of the effective self-help strategies for depression symptoms, instead using unhelpful or even harmful ways of coping.” People experiencing ongoing difficulties, such as problems at work or family conflict, are at increased risk of depression. Providing these people with information about depression and effective ways to cope could avert their descent into major depressive disorder.

Mood memos are emails delivered every few days over a period of 6 weeks, bringing expert coping advice and information about depression directly to email inboxes. The study co-ordinator, Amy Morgan, says “the internet is an ideal medium for this sort of mental health promotion, as it is a highly used source of information about mental health, and information can be widely disseminated at little cost. Ema
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