Portraits illustrate how depression looks different for everybody
Personal stories of depression have been captured as mini documentaries and in artworks to help people recognise the symptoms of this mental health condition that impacts about 1 million Australians each year.
Four Western Australians feature in the campaign commissioned by WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA). Local artists were engaged to produce paintings to demonstrate that depression looks different for everybody.
Ashlee-Rose and Cameron represent the Peel region’s most at-risk group; young people aged 16 to 24, who may be challenged by relationship breakdowns, study pressures, unemployment, the fast pace of life or the pressures of social media.
Michael and Tony from the Midwest region represent one the area’s at-risk groups; men aged 25 to 54, who may be challenged by social isolation, absence of employment opportunities, and financial pressures.
The commissioned artists immersed themselves in the emotions of the participants, channelling their depiction of depression into their artworks. The artists and participants then met for the first time when the artworks were unveiled.
The result is a powerful approach that aims to help people recognise depression if it comes up in their lives, or in someone they know, and direct them to the website insidemymind.org.au where they can find useful information on depression and how to get help.
“I think everyone, whenever they come across an issue, wants to be able to overcome it under their own steam, but sometimes we do need help, and there is nothing wrong with that,” said Cameron.
“I’m in that special place where I’m mostly in a good spot, sometimes my mornings are a bit difficult, but that’s life after you’ve had depression. You do reflect on these bad times and I can now tell people about all that and I think I do it very successfully and I’ll keep doing it,” said Michael.
WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington, said depression has a significant impact on young people, their families and the community.
“As this campaign shows, depression can look different for everybody, and all four subjects have highlighted, getting help is the first step to recovery and treatment can be highly effective.”
The Depression Looks Different for Everybody campaign will run across the Rockingham, Kwinana and Peel area and the Midwest on social media, television, cinema and other venues.
Depression is a common, at times severe and often life-threatening mental health disorder and is a major risk factor to suicide. This is why the campaign forms part of the Australian Government funded National Suicide Prevention Trial which aims to improve the current evidence of effective suicide prevention strategy at a local level for at-risk population groups.
If you or someone you know needs help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Watch a short video of Chief Executive Officer, Learne Durrington and Principal Advisor and Research Director, Dr Danny Rock talking about depression and the campaign below.