Partners in Depression

Due to COVID-19, many face-to-face supports have ceased or have transitioned to delivering services online.

For help and support in caring for a family member or friend, we recommend contacting Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737. Carer Gateway provides practical advice and support for carers and connects carers with an Australia-wide network of service providers. Alternatively, you can visit their website:

Partners in Depression was a group education program designed to address the information and support needs of those who love, live with or care for a person experiencing depression. It provided people with the information and tools to better support the person in their life with depression, and themselves.

The six week program aimed to:

  • Increase knowledge of depressive illness including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
  • Raise awareness of the particular impact of depression on relationships, and the personal impact on emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Improve communication skills
  • Encourage and facilitate communication about the experiences of supporting a family member or friend with depression
  • Encourage self-care and coping strategies
  • Provide information about access to services and resources
  • Encourage help-seeking behaviour for carers and the people in their life experiencing depression.

Why was the program developed?

The Partners in Depression program was developed in response to an identified need for those who care for someone with depression to have access to relevant information and support.

Previous research highlights that people who support or care for a person with depression are at risk of developing mental health problems themselves. The practical and emotional demands of supporting a loved one with depression can be great.

Providing information about how a person can appropriately support their loved one, while also looking after their own mental health, can decrease the risk of those who care for people with depression developing significant mental health problems themselves.

"Partners in Depression has opened doors in my own awareness and understanding that I am not alone on this journey. I do count my blessings. Although much has been lost, much has also been gained."

Lyn, carer

Why do we need programs like Partners in Depression?

Support offered by programs such as Partners in Depression stands to improve the wellbeing of both the carer and the person with depression.

Research has shown that people who love, care for or support a person with depression:

  • can experience significant stress and are at greater risk of developing mental health problems themselves
  • value opportunities to connect with others in a similar situation can experience stigma
  • are interested in learning and strengthening coping and self-care strategies to enhance their capacity to support the person in their life with depression
  • are reluctant to prioritise their own needs alongside or equal to those they care for, and almost always presume that their needs do not justify intervention.

Given 1 in 6 Australians will experience depression at some stage in their life, there are and will continue to be millions of people in need of support and information to maintain their mental health and reduce the likelihood of developing mental health problems.


Partners in Depression not only changed the lives of those who take part in the program, it also enriched the lives of those who worked on the program and those who delivered it.

Contact us

To make an enquiry about the national Partners in Depression program, to find a group or facilitator, please contact us.

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