Depression support for older people

Armen Hareyan's picture

A new program to raise the awareness of depression in older people has been launched in Hobart today.

Beyond Blue and the Council on the Ageing have trained 10 older people to help raise awareness of depression in older age groups in rural and remote areas of Tasmania.

The Beyond Maturity Blues peer educators will give presentations to groups of older people about depression and it's treatment.

Tasmania's Director of Mental Health, Des Graham says says it's important that people know they aren't alone.


"In particular those older people that have those triggers that potentially could result in depression, those poeple who aren't connected to family and friends, who are somewhat isolated, may have lost a loved one nearby that is the target group"

Mr Graham says peer education is a good way to reach people.

"If we had more of these types of programs where the community takes responsibility for... assisting particular government and non government agencies, then we have a much more multi-faceted approach to supporting people who have illnesses." he said.

The Tasmanian Government is backing the initiative.

The Health and Human Serivces Minister Lara Giddings says peer education is valued among older people.

"Its already been a great success in South Australia where the pilot project was first initiated and so we're building on the success and the lessons learned through the pilot project and implementing that in Tasmania," she said.