A new investigation into the treatment of depression is underway at the Griffith Health Institute, with a focus on depression in the workplace.
About 60 percent of Australians who are depressed are employed, and many fail to seek or receive treatment.
Researchers at Griffith University’s School of Applied Psychology have developed an online program called Finding the Balance to help people who are employed improve their emotional wellbeing and prevent future problems.
“The study aims to give people a better understanding of themselves in relation to their work and personal life by investigating if their emotional wellbeing can be improved using the web as a source of help,” researcher Shannon Moule (pictured) says.
“We expect to prove that those who complete the Finding the Balance program will show significant improvement in mood and worker productivity.”
The participants, whose identification and details remain confidential, will learn new strategies to help improve their mood and increase their quality of work. A total of 40 people, living in Brisbane, are required to take part in the research.
“A diagnosis of depression is not necessary for participants. If they feel their mood is low and it is starting to affect their functioning with work and life in general, they can undergo a screening process to determine if the study program is suitable for their needs.”
Ms Moule says the researchers at the Mt Gravatt campus are aware of previous positive results.
“We know of employees whose depressive symptoms decreased and whose work performance increased after undergoing quality treatment,” she said.
“Research shows that online treatments are successful in treating depression and can be an extremely attractive option for people who may find it too difficult to attend traditional face-to-face treatments.
“The key issue about facing depression in the workplace is the need for cost-effective, accessible, and anonymous treatments that encourage employers to implement them and make employees comfortable about engaging with treatment.”
Finding the Balance offers a range of behavioural strategies through an eight-module online program.
“Participation will incur a small, negotiable fee to cover the costs of running the study,” Ms Moule said.
Anyone interested in finding out more or to register for the study, can go to www.findingthebalance.com.au, email [email protected] or phone the research team 0466 992 013.