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European Alliance Against Depression

Organization: EAAD

Country: Europe; Chile

Forum: Mental health

Established in 2008, the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) is an international non-profit organization involved in European research projects targeting depression and suicide prevention. Based in Leipzig, Germany, the Alliance has several European members and more than 100 regional network partners in Europe.

The Alliance aims to prevent suicidal behavior and improve the care of patients with depression through action-oriented, community-based public health interventions. These interventions operate at 4 levels:

  1. Cooperation with primary and mental health care, focusing on training general practitioners
  2. Public awareness campaigns
  3. Cooperation with community facilitators and stakeholders
  4. Support for people at high risk and their relatives

One evaluation of a 4-level program in the Hungarian town of Szolnok demonstrated a sharp decline in suicide rates from 30 per 100,000 in 2004 (before the project was started) to 12 per 100,000. This 60% decrease was significantly greater than that observed across Hungary and in the control region.

Going forward, the EAAD has identified the following action areas:

  • Improve care for patients affected by depression and prevent suicides
  • Support relatives of persons concerned
  • Raise public awareness of the occurrence and impact of depression and suicidal tendency
  • Inform and educate the general public and professionals
  • Disseminate EAAD results at regional, national and European levels
  • Support young researchers
  • Conduct further research on interventions for depression and the prevention of suicides
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