Leading Scottish Mental Health Charity Calls for Action on Depression



Not for publication until 00.01 hours 15th June 2011

On 15th June 2011 leading depression charity Depression Alliance Scotland is renamed as Action on Depression, launching a major new campaign and fundraising initiative to highlight why everyone in Scotland can and should take action on depression.

In the run up to the campaign Action on Depression have been working with two families bereaved by suicide whom despite their loss are united in their determination to take action by raising funds in memory of their loved ones. They want to to increase awareness of depression as a treatable condition for which there are many forms of help, and encourage everyone to take action where they can.

Sandra Lindsay lost her daughter Mandy Lindsay due to depression in November 2009 says:

“The loss of our daughter Mandy at the age of 24 was a horrendous blow to our family and local community in South Lanarkshire. People used the word tragic about Mandy, but Mandy wasn’t tragic, what happened to her was the tragedy. Mandy will always be missed. Since Mandy died we have worked tirelessly to create a legacy in her memory through our local fundraising efforts which will continue. We wholeheartedly support Action on Depression to raise awareness of depression as an illness and encourage anyone who is need of help and support or concerned about someone to contact them for more information.”

Elizabeth Rattray from East Lothian lost her son, Duncan age 36, due to depression in July 2010 says:

“Our eldest son Duncan took his own life last July at the age of 36. Duncan had been suffering from depression. Unfortunately we did not appreciate the seriousness of it until it was too late. I am raising money for this very worthwhile charity, Action On Depression, in the hope that it may prevent other families going through the heartache that we have experienced.”

It is time for action on depression

* 2 people per day die by suicide in Scotland

* 10% of the population of Scotland are taking antidepressant medication

* 13% of people report suicidal thoughts, 4% attempt suicide and 2% carry out deliberate self-harm at some point in their life

Depression is both common and treatable and the majority of people can and do recover given the right help and support.

Ilena Day, Chief Executive, Action on Depression says:

“Whilst there have been improvements in the understanding and treatment of depression it remains a major condition in our society where there are still many people unable to get help. This is due to a lack of services, long waiting lists but also simply feeling too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help. This week as we unveil our new name alongside our new campaign 'Action on Depression'. We encourage the people of Scotland to do just that.

“Action on Depression today calls on people across Scotland to support us in taking action to defeat depression. By using this campaigning week we invite the public to consider what action they can take to support people with depression, and make sure their own well-being, and those around them is as good as it can be.”

Ilena Day adds:

“It may seem like one person can’t make much of a difference against a huge issue, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Individual actions can save lives, and people working together as a movement can change attitudes and raise awareness across the board.”

Action on Depression Suggests:

* Take action for yourself by doing one small thing

* Make sure you look after yourself by doing some things that you value and enjoy

* Find out more about the signs of depression

* Make small steps to improve your life

* Ask for some help and support if you need it – do it now!

* Ask your GP what support there is for you

It’s easy to take action for others:

* Support our fundraising efforts to make a difference to local people living with depression

* Ask a friend or work colleague how they are feeling if you feel they aren’t themselves – and give time for them to answer

* Organise an awareness raising session in your workplace

* Distribute leaflets and information about depression around your community

* Donate by text, send AODN 11 £5.00 to 70070 or donate online at www.actionondepression.org/donate

Main contact: Ilena Day, Chief Executive. Action on Depression – 0791 717 7627 or 0131 226 1803, ilenad@dascot.org

Sandra Lindsay and Elizabeth Rattray are available for interview. To discuss please contact Ilena Day at Action on Depression.

Notes to the editors

Action On Depression is the sole national charity working for people affected by depression in Scotland. We offer a range of community support services and a national information service.

2. People in need of help and support should visit www.actionondepression.org or www.lookokfeelcrap.org or phone our information line on 0808 802 2020

See www.actionondepression.org for more information and for images available for download.

3. The re-branding, which was funded entirely by an in kind donation from agency Corporate PRM, is the result of a consultation with a wide range of people across Scotland, with the voice of people touched by depression at its core. But this campaign is not fundamentally about a name change – it is about the actions we can all take, and keep on taking, on depression.

Sources of Statistics

4. Anti-Depressant data is from: http://www.isdscotlandarchive.scot.nhs.uk/isd/information-and-statistics.jsp?pContentID=3671&p_applic=CCC&p_service=Content.show&

Suicide data is from http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/deaths/suicides/index.html.

6. The donate by text facility is an innovative new free text donation service run in partnership with vodaphone and justgiving.

Contact: ilena day
Phone: 0791 717 7627
Email: Ilenad@dascot.org
Website: http://www.actionondepression.org/donate