Page 1


2 0 0 9


depressionServices Newsletter

depressionServices Staff having fun on Lifeline’s Stress Down Day

Message from our CEO

In this Issue

Welcome to depressionServices, where we are committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of Australians impacted by depression through our free online services offering hope and understanding, information and support. Our free online services for Australians impacted by depression are available at and and include counselling, peer support and information. As an online human service provider, we are the market leader in quality assurance – guaranteeing exceptional services for Australians impacted by depression. The demand for our free services has continued to grow over the past three years and as part of our ongoing investment in innovative technology and to ensure we are constantly improving our clients’ experience online, we are developing new services for Australians impacted by depression including a service for families, friends and carers; online group therapy and case management. All this has been made possible due to the generosity and kindness of our amazing supporters, staff and volunteers – thank you to all of you – thanks to you we can continue to make a difference in the lives of people impacted by depression right across Australia and ensure that no Australian living with depression ever feels alone.


10 Tips to Build Your Resilience

How online counselling can help people with depression

depressionServices Christmas Cards & Hampers

Terry Houguet-Pincham Chief Executive Officer


What our clients say about ‘The volunteers at depressionServices are always willing to go the extra mile, are thoughtful, make me feel valued and are angels in disguise! Thank you to each and every volunteer for giving up their time to help people impacted by depression. You cannot underestimate how much we appreciate having somewhere to turn to when we're down and the people at depressionServices make it happen.’ (Melanie, Victoria) ‘depressionServices is like a whole new world that has opened up for me. Before using this service I kept it all hidden, then to hear others talking and suddenly realise... “Hey that’s how I feel or that’s what I’m going through” really helps me feel less alone.’ (Jeremy, New South Wales) ‘I go through long stages of agoraphobia so I’m stuck inside my home a lot and I sometimes have trouble sleeping. Having depressionServices available ‘around the clock’ means I can go online and there’s always someone to chat with. I’ve got a better understanding of my illness from listening to others here and I’ve been very grateful for the service.’ (Mark, Western Australia) ‘There’s no other place like depressionServices and it stops you feeling so isolated. The guidelines that are in place means it’s safe and I really like the fact I feel a bond with the other people in the Peer Support service I‘ve gotten to know. It helps you build trust and feel more comfortable talking about things that are going on for you. I find every person here has and shows respect for each other.‘ (Sonia, Queensland) ‘The helpful information from a lovely facilitator gave me hope for today, understanding for my situation and awesome support. It’s helping me manage my depression by realising there’s no shame in telling your family you need a rest every so often no matter how scary it may seem. You guys have literally saved my life today.’ (Aidan, South Australia) ‘Being in here at night has made me feel less alone – I can talk about how I feel and get understanding not ignorance like when I tried to tell a friend once. Along with my doctor, psychiatrist, my family and some special friends, depressionServices has helped me finally begin to recover.’ (Sue, Northern Territory) Names and locations have been changed to protect the confidentiality and identity of our clients.

Coming Soon to!!!


Follow us on Facebook!

Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month

New Interactive Website New YouTube Videos


National Psychology Week World Kindness Day

New Services and Programs: •

Family Friends and Carers


Group Therapy

International Volunteer Day

Case Management



Giving Back To Others When Superannuation Administrator, Katy Gagliardi became interested in mental health, little did she know that she would end up making such a difference in the lives of Australians impacted by depression… What do you do as a Volunteer Peer Support Facilitator? The Peer Support service has online discussion rooms where people can discuss their experiences of living with depression. As a volunteer, my task is to facilitate constructive discussion toward issues that arise from living and participating in life – particularly when you are depressed. How does Peer Support help people impacted by depression? I believe peer support helps people on many levels. If someone who is depressed can sign in ‘around the clock’ and be welcomed by their peers who have had various experiences that could assist them – as well as a facilitator who has their wellbeing in mind as a priority – this is a great comfort to our clients. What are the challenges of being a Volunteer Peer Support Facilitator and how do you cope with them?

Katy Gagliardi Peer Support Facilitator

It can be emotionally taxing sometimes. Knowing what to say in the face of another person’s sadness isn’t always easy, especially if that sadness finds its way inside you. Remembering that feeling some sadness is okay and being self-aware can help with this. What is the best thing about the depressionServices Peer Support Service? The best thing is definitely that it connects people who are impacted by depression. It’s a small corner of the world where emotional integrity is encouraged and nurtured. The emphasis on peer support where everybody is in a position to offer opinions and comfort to others, can make all the difference to someone who is having difficulty helping themselves. What do you love about being a depressionServices Team Member? My life has changed as a result of being a Volunteer Peer Support Facilitator. It’s incredibly beneficial knowing that your input is making a difference in somebody else’s life. Giving back to others is what I strive to make my life about, and depressionServices epitomizes both giving and receiving for all of our clients, volunteers and staff. To everyone who supports us: Thank you – to support depressionServices is to support humanity.

Peer Support Service Our Peer Support service is a free, safe and supportive online community for Australians impacted by depression. If you would like to apply to join our Peer Support Service, just go to

3 3


A New Way to Support People with depression We have recently established a Bequest program specifically designed for forward thinking supporters who have a commitment to the long term availability and accessibility of our vital services for Australians impacted by depression. We encourage you to consider a bequest to us in your will and we are happy to support you with the will process if required. For more information please contact our Development Manager, Peter Fletcher on 1300 135 542 or email

Our O ur G Guarantee uarantee depressionServices is committed to providing our clients with the highest quality interactive online human services. This is maintained through our dedication to Quality Assurance, ensuring that our services are provided in an appropriate and effective manner which both meets and exceeds our clients’ expectations. We comply with a range of national and industry standards including: • • • • •

HONcode and HealthInsite endorsement for depression-related information The Internet Industry Codes of Practice The National Standards for Mental Health Services The Quality Framework for Telephone Counselling and Internet-based Support Services The FIA’s Principles and Standards for Fundraising Practice

In addition to the above standards, we are a member of the Australian Organisation of Quality and the Internet Industry Association. We are continuously seeking new ways to improve our services through achievement of quality standards. To find out more about our Guarantee go to:

Become a Monthly Donor “I’m making more breakthroughs with you than any other person I’ve spoken to.” depressionServices Counselling Client

Whilst we are partially funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, we need your support to continue making a difference in the lives of our clients like Melanie, Jeremy, Mark and Sonia who you will remember from page two. Please consider setting up a regular monthly gift to us. This is the best way to help us plan our programs and the most efficient and economic way for us to receive donations. As little as $20 a month will help ensure our volunteers are there ‘around the clock’ to help Australians impacted by depression.

To donate, please visit our website and click on the Donate Now button or call 1300 135 542. 4

p g


H How Online Counselling Helps People with depression P Provisional Counsellor, Mel Schaeche, shares her experiences… In 2004, when Mel Schaeche referenced depressionServices in a university assignment for her Bachelor of Applied Social Science, she never thought that five years later she would be working part time as a Counsellor for us!!! Mel explains how counselling online can help people impacted by depression. Why is the depressionServices Counselling Service so beneficial? Anyone with a computer and internet access can use it and it’s completely free! There are lots of people who are geographically or socially isolated and as our services are offered online, people who may not otherwise have gotten help have been able to. Also, online counselling isn’t as intrusive as going and seeing someone face-to-face. Mel Schaeche Counsellor

How does the Counselling Service work? It’s a place where people impacted by depression can get help. It’s a place where we can help people set some goals and then help them focus on making steps towards achieving those goals. The counselling is conducted in a secure online discussion room, one-on-one with you and the counsellor. Our Counsellors focus on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Therapy to help our clients manage their depression. We also recognise that everyone’s story and journey is different. Our counsellors have years of experience both professionally and personally, and every approach is different. This is great for our clients because it means we can offer an approach that is really different and individualised. How do I apply to join the Counselling service? All Australians over the age of 18 who are impacted by mild to moderate depression and meet our eligibility criteria can access our service. There is no GP Mental Health Plan required and referral is through our Peer Support service, your healthcare professional or you can refer yourself! What’s most rewarding about working at depressionServices? It’s rewarding being able to make a difference. It makes me feel great when I’ve helped someone see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Mel’s Tips For A Healthy Body, Mind and Soul This Spring Don’t plan too far ahead – right now, spring is here! New life, new growth. Spend some time in your garden and reap the benefits of colour and new life in the months to come. And remember that change and progress is made in baby steps, not in giant leaps! 5 5


Making A Difference For Australians Impacted by depression Peer Support Coordinator Kathryn Hammond explains… Kathryn Hammond wanted to use her own experiences and those of her friends and family to help others impacted by depression. Kathryn wanted to work with people who are passionate about helping Australians with depression and as our Peer Support Coordinator, Kathryn does just that! What’s so unique about We use the internet to provide not just a place but a completely integrated, interactive service for Australians impacted by depression. Because we use the internet to provide our services, we defy the physical, social and geographical barriers which often stop people seeking help for depression. Our clients can come and have a discussion and know their rights of confidentiality and right to be treated in a respectful manner and environment is of utmost importance to us. depressionServices volunteers have empathy for people with mental health issues and are accepting and nonjudgemental. What’s the best thing about

Kathryn Hammond Peer Support Coordinator

It’s safe, it’s supportive, and it’s real people talking about real experiences and sharing them in this completely honest, no holds barred way. It keeps people connected to other people so they aren’t isolating themselves. For some people, their workplace or personal networks may not be supportive but here in this online community, they can find support and hope from others who understand. Sometimes you don’t necessarily want to or need to go to the doctors but you still need some help and support to put some strategies in place to get you through – and the people at can help you do that. Why should people support I know it’s a cliché, but we really do make a difference for people with depression. I know this because I’ve watched the journeys our clients go on. is a place people impacted by depression can come to and get all sorts of help. Knowing about a service like this would have been so good for me earlier in life and giving others the opportunity to get the support I would have liked is an important thing for me to do.

“My colleagues and our volunteers have extensive professional and personal experience and together, we are making a difference for Australians impacted by depression!”

New depressionServices Partners Announced

depressionServices is proud to announce our new partners: Lifeline, MentalHealth@Work and Connect Groups. 6


10 Tips to Build Your Resilience We can all build and improve on our ability to be resilient when faced with stressful and difficult situations. Here are some helpful tips that you and your family can use to build your resilience: Have the courage to be imperfect Continually striving for perfection in everything you do can lead to stress. Try to aim for “not bad at all” or “really quite good” instead of “perfect”. Take time for yourself Do you have little or no time left over at the end of the day for yourself? Are you all things to all people? Allow yourself time to do things that you particularly enjoy. If you create boundaries around your time, and stick to them, others will respect them. Sign up for that course, join that club Getting involved in community activities can help develop your connections with others, create skills and boost your physical and mental wellbeing - all things that improve your resilience. Be active every day in as many ways as you can Being physically healthy is an important foundation for your resilience. The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day. Spend time with people who make you feel good Nurturing a positive view of yourself is important for resilience. Spend time with people who help build your confidence and belief in yourself. Laugh out loud each day Laughing out loud can be a helpful way to reduce stress levels, so look for opportunities to introduce some humour into your day. Life can be truly absurd sometimes, so don’t forget to laugh at it and look for the lighter side of frustrating situations. Invite your neighbour over for a cup of tea Research shows that relationships are one of the cornerstones of wellbeing. Close relationships and broad social networks are both important. Do one thing now you’ve been putting off Procrastination can be a major barrier to wellbeing, leading to stress and preventing us from doing the things that are important to us and good for us. Ask your friends for their best strategies for getting motivated. Remember, This Too Shall Pass One way to build resilience is to keep things in perspective. If you can, avoid being overly negative about things that may be happening in your life. Even during the toughest times, try to keep an eye to the future and the likelihood that circumstances will change for the better. Focus more on things you can control There are many things in your life that you have no direct control over. Resilience involves being able to adapt to change with a minimum amount of stress. Instead of resisting or trying to manipulate things beyond your control, look at them as opportunities to learn and grow. Focus your attention on areas where you can make a difference. Kindly reproduced with permission from the Mental Health Association NSW.

7 7


Back By Popular Demand!

depressionServices PO Box 2375 Richmond VIC 3121

depressionServices Christmas Cards & Hampers

Donations: 1300 135 542 Email: Websites: ABN: 65 100 862 477

Our Cards & Hampers campaign is our biggest online fundraising event of the year, when people around the country buy depressionServices Christmas Cards and Hampers to raise funds to support Australians impacted by depression. The overwhelming support we received last year means we are again offering beautiful Christmas cards with 40c per card going to services which support Australians impacted by depression. There are 20 designs to choose from and they can be personalised with your message and/or company logo. We are also delighted to offer for the first time, depressionServices Christmas hampers - a great way to say thanks to your clients or colleagues at Christmas time – or the family! There are four delicious reusable hampers to choose from and with contents like Thornton & Wild Fruit Cake and Droste Assorted Chocolates, we decided to buy one for the office to share at our Christmas Party and we can’t wait to get into it!

Buy your cards and hampers and help support Australians impacted by depression here: Christmas Cards

Christmas Hampers


Yes, I want to support people impacted by depression

Please accept my gift of $ ___________  Please find my cheque or money order enclosed  VISA

Please debit my



    Cardholders Name:

 Diners Expiry Date: ____ / ____


Personal Details Title:

First Name:









D.O.B. (optional):

Phone: (


Please complete this Donation Slip and: Post to:

Fax to:

depressionServices PO Box 2375 Richmond VIC 3121

Donate online at


Donate by phone on 1300 135 542

(03) 9428 3339

From the thousands of Australians touched by depression – Thank You in advance for your generous support! If you would prefer to receive this newsletter via email or mail or to unsubscribe, please email


depressionServices 2009 Newsletter  
depressionServices 2009 Newsletter  

Our Spring newsletter has hit the stands and inside you will find inspiring stories from our clients and volunteers, tips on building your r...