An Overview of Depression


It is estimated that approximately one million adults and 100,000 younger people live with depression every year in Australia. Although some people have only one depressive episode during their lives, for many the illness is characterised by multiple episodes.

Depression effects a disproportionate number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared to non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A sound understanding of this illness is an important foundation for the provision of care in the primary health context.

This short module provides an overview of depression, the risk factors and known biological causes. It then briefly discusses diagnosis criteria and treatment options.

This module is intended as a brief overview of those with little to no experience working with clients who may be diagnosed with depression.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Define depression
  • Identify population groups more likely to experience depression
  • Identify the known or probable causes of depression
  • Understand the diagnostic criteria and treatment options available to those with depression

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