Depression: Treatment and Management


Major depressive disorder is an often under-diagnosed and devastating condition affecting around one in five Australians at some point in their lives. However, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the rate of depression is estimated to be one in three people.

This module describes the treatment of major depressive disorder, including anti-depressant medications and psychological therapies. It discusses the role of healthcare professionals in the treatment of depression.

This module focuses specifically on the management and treatment of the individual. It does not address the causes or wider scope of depression for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the communities in which they live.

This module is aimed at all healthcare professionals and those working in social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal primary health care services.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Be familiar with the preferred treatment options for mild, moderate and severe depression.
  • Be aware of the psychological therapies recommended for major depression including cognitive brain therapy and interpersonal therapy.n
  • Be able to identify the common types of medications used in the treatment of depression including their basic pharmacology, dosing and side effects.
  • Be able to describe the treatment of depression for specific populations including perinatal women, children and the elderly.
  • Understand what electroconvulsive therapy is and when it is recommended in the treatment of major depressive disorder.
  • Be able to outline the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and management of patients with major depressive disorder.

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