Researcher launches Internet program to treat Chinese who suffer depression

13:10, July 12, 2010      

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Chinese-Australians who suffer depression are being sought to participate in a pilot program using the Internet to deliver treatment, local media reported on Monday.

"Less than half of Chinese-Australian people with depression seek treatment, and only a small percentage of them actually receive treatments that prove to be effective," said Isabella Choi from the University of Sydney's School of Psychology.

"The rest suffer from their condition alone or suffer because of language, access and cultural barriers to treatment," Choi told Australian Associated Press on Monday.

Research showed the Internet can be a force for good in the battle against mental ill health.

Web-based treatments for anxiety and depression are now delivering "encouraging results" in the broader community.

A targeted program would be launched in the hope of making similar health gains within the Chinese-Australian community, said Choi, who is a post-graduate researcher.

Volunteers will undergo an eight-week treatment program via the web, written in both Chinese and English and with oversight by staff fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

The free "Brighten Your Mood" program uses a secure website and Choi said the focus is on how to recognize and control the symptoms of depression.

"Our research team has built many similar programs for depression and other anxiety disorders for use by Australian adults with encouraging results," Choi said.

"We are hoping to create a program for Chinese-Australians as well."

Source: Xinhua


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