1. Depression, as an illness, is one of the most common serious disorders affecting about one in every 15 adults in Australia every year.

  2. Depression is a serious condition that causes many people to be disabled and others to commit suicide.

  3. If you think that a member of your family, or you yourself, may be depressed, you can ask your general practitioner for an assessment, which may include referral to a psychiatrist, or psychologist.

  4. When depression is moderate or severe, a person cannot will herself or himself better.

  5. Effective treatment includes antidepressant medications, cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy. People can also help themselves with life style changes including stress reduction.

  6. Support for the families of people with depression can assist the depressed person as well.