Support from the James N. Kirby Foundation has opened the door for the Black Dog Institute to embark on a program with the message ‘Let’s Talk About Depression’ in rural New South Wales.
The program is designed to break the silence and encourage rural communities to talk about mood disorders; especially in view of recent evidence showing that Australians impacted by drought are twice as likely to have a mental health issue if they are directly affected.
The Black Dog Institute is based at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. It is a not-for-profit educational, research, clinical and community-orientated facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder.
The Institute has observed distinct evidence of the strain on rural and remote communities caused by the nature of life in those areas, including isolation and drought, as well as social and financial pressures.
Determined to improve the understanding, assessment and management of mood disorders in these areas, the Institute has embarked on an ambitious program with the financial support of The James N. Kirby Foundation. Building on work commenced in 2008, such support allows the Institute to expand the program in 2009 with events in rural NSW locations such as Orange, Moree, Gunnedah, Griffith, Condoblin, Forbes, Singleton, Dubbo, Armidale and Quirindi.
The rural strategy encapsulates the range of services provided by the Institute, including community education and support, clinical services, education and training for health professionals, information and education modules on the Institute’s website, and through community programs.
Professor Gordon Parker
Executive Director, Black Dog Institute
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