Date Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
View printable version
Depression: A Global Crisis
The 10th of October marks the 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day. This year, the theme for this day is “Depression: A Global Crisis.” Across the world, people will be working together, creating awareness around mental illness and mental disorders – with a primary focus on depression.
Depression affects more than 350 million people globally. Although many effective treatments are available, access to best evidence based treatment is a problem. This is particularly concerning for the health of young people, as depression is one of the most common illnesses in youth and is associated with numerous educational and social challenges, as well as suicide.
In Nova Scotia, Drs. Stan Kutcher, Sonia Chehil and Iliana Garcia-Ortega will be among those celebrating World Mental Health Day. They are the creators of “Identification, Diagnosis and Treatment of Adolescent Depression,” which is an education and training package for primary health care providers designed to help them better identify, assess, diagnose and treat adolescent depression. The course also provides clinical strategies and tools for adolescent suicide risk assessment. This has been done to help improve the ability of primary health care providers effectively treat young people with depression and the course has recently been accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for credits towards continued medical education (Mainpro-M1 credits).
The programs availability will allow more primary health providers to become better experienced in early identification, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of adolescent depression. Teenagers will receive proper treatment by their family physicians, along with decreased wait times without the need to be referred to a mental health clinic. The short and long term outcomes of youth and families living with depression should improve substantially and we may see a decrease in other mental illnesses, such as substance abuse and suicide rates.
1) An overview of depression in adolescence
2) Narrative and illustrative components to assist first contact health providers in the identification, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of depressive disorder in adolescents.
3) A toolkit containing diagnostic tools and other useful resources for diagnosis, assessment and treatment monitoring of major depressive disorder in adolescents
4) Clinical strategies and a tool for adolescent suicide risk assessment
The course will be available on TeenMentalHealth.org's eLearning Centre in the near future. This is where users will be able to take the course online to recieve Mainpro-M1 credits towards continued medical education.
For any questions or concerns, please contact:
(Please note that CMHO staff does not reply to comments that are posted on news stories.)