young people sitting in a circle on a rug

Depression can affect anyone

It is common. It is personal. It knows no economic, social or cultural boundaries.

Each year, more than 380 people die by suicide in Western Australia.  More young people (between 15 and 24) die by suicide than any other cause.

Many of those deaths could have been prevented.

That’s why BDAAD is working to create a more resilient community with greater support.

Local, lead by locals

An Alliance Against Depression
is local to engage the power of community. 

 It is community-led to make sure
its actions and strategies suit local needs.

  The Busselton Dunsborough Alliance Against Depression
covers all areas within the City of Busselton boundary.

If you live, learn, work or play inside this boundary ...
the Busselton Dunsborough Alliance Against Depression is for you.

map of City of Busselton boundary

Focusing on depression

This reason for a focus on depression is simple.  Suicidal acts are strongly connected with psychiatric disorders, especially depression.

A community that works together to support people suffering depression and tackles the life-pressures that may lead to depression, can have a profound effect on mental health.  A community that supports people with depression moves a long way down the path toward reducing the stigma related to mental ill health.

Building four local pillars

The model seeks to improve mental health literacy, reduce stigma and reduce barriers to care.  The approach aims to include care providers, the local community, media, veterans, local stakeholders, mental health consumers, carers and family members everyone!

It is a GP-centric model, as it promotes referral to a person's general practitioner as the first point of contact for a person seeking help for depression.

The four levels of this best-practice approach for suicide prevention are:

  1. Cooperating with primary and mental health care practitioners
    with a focus on GP training to identify and improve the treatment of depression.
  2. Facilitating public mental health literacy activities to raise general awareness about depression and provide knowledge of:
    • local services available and the referral pathways;
    • supporting people dealing with mental ill health;  
    • identifying risk factors that reduce or improve pyschological safety in the places where they live, learn, work or play.
  3. Fostering follow-up support for patients, high-risk groups and their relatives
  4. Facilitating professional gatekeeper training for community stakeholders
    with a focus on improving the recognition and referral to care of people with depression.

European start, world-wide application

It is an approach based on evaluated trials and is recognised as the world’s best practice in optimising the care of people with depression and preventing suicidal behaviour.  The AAD was developed and trialled in Nuremberg, Germany and resulted in a 24% reduction in suicidal acts and suicide over a three-year period.  (Reference: World J Biol Psychiatry. 2008;9(1):51-8. The 'European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD)': a multifaceted, community-based action programme against depression and suicidality. Hegerl et al).
It is a model that is now applied in countries across the world, including over 100 local networks in Europe and networks now developing in Australia.

What can I do?

A lot more than you first think.  You can make all the difference by personally: