07/04/2017

Online Support For Adults with Depression Announced

A new online support service to help adults suffering with depression has been announced.

Queen's University and AWARE, the national depression charity for Northern Ireland, made the announcement to mark World Health Day (Friday 7 April).

Depression impacts one in four people in Northern Ireland.

Research has shown that those experiencing depression may feel embarrassed about seeking help from health professionals and ultimately decide not to ask for support at all.

The study aims to give those people an alternative option to face-to-face support by developing a peer-led online support service using video conferencing technology, such as Google Hangouts, which users can access via their home computer, laptop or mobile phone.

Dr Paul Best, from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's, who is leading the study, said: "We are aiming to give those people in need of help an alternative option to face-to-face support, which they can access from home. In previous studies, this technology has shown to be beneficial in treating a number of mental health problems and can be more cost effective for charities to run."

Tom McEneaney, Head of Business Development at AWARE, said: "We are delighted to be working with Queen's University on this study. This service will mean we can provide alternative support for people who are not comfortable with face-to-face, so they can get the help they need. This service will make a difference to people living with depression across Northern Ireland, who are perhaps too afraid to ask for help."

The new online support service will start recruiting for participants to use the service in early summer 2017.

(CD/JP)

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