U.S. NONPROFIT LAUNCHES FREE AND EASY-TO-ACCESS ONLINE DEPRESSION SUPPORT GROUPS IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS: A peer-led mental health program endorsed by world-renowned experts.
(PRUnderground) April 9th, 2020
Now, more than ever, people across the country are in need of easy-to-access and affordable depression support. The LiveWell Foundation – a Philadelphia-based nonprofit led by volunteers from diverse backgrounds and professions with lived experience of depression, recovery, and living well – is determined that anyone who needs that support can get it. And for free.
“While necessary to help stop the spread of disease, social withdrawal is in fact the worst prescription for people living with depression,” said foundation Director Stefanie Glick. “Isolation is not only likely to increase symptoms, but also to increase a person’s risk of dying by suicide.” Thus, to help ensure people can stay connected and get the support that they need through this precarious time, the foundation has launched its traditionally community-based depression support groups online.
“Peer-led interventions, such as 12-step programs and other health programs designed and led by people with lived experience, are a cost-effective way to reach a wide and diverse population,” Glick added, “But more significantly, they help people to recover and maintain their wellness.” The LiveWell Program is a peer-led, guided self-care program strategically designed to reduce symptoms and relapses of depression, and to increase wellbeing.
In addition to significant research that shows guided self-care is as effective as psychotherapy for the long term treatment of depression, the LiveWell Program is endorsed by program participants (with some going on to be trained to facilitate the groups for others), as well as by leading professionals in the field. On the foundation website’s homepage, for example, Dr. Aaron T. Beck, the famous founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, states that he would refer his own patients to attend the LiveWell support groups.
“In just the first two weeks of offering our depression support groups online, people are joining in from across the country,” said Daniel, a university professor who leads one of the weekly groups. “I’m proud to be a part of the LiveWell mission,” he added. “It’s about people caring about and taking responsibility for the mental wellbeing of their own communities.”
Even before the coronavirus, it was estimated that one out of five American adults would experience an episode of major depression this year. But given the current state of affairs, the already devastating statistics will only worsen in the months ahead. Studies show that unemployment, particularly when unexpected or involuntary, is bad for mental health. A survey by Mental Health America indicates that unemployed Americans experience severe mental illness at the rate of four times people who are employed; and Gallup data shows that unemployed adults (and those not working as much as they would like) are twice as likely as those employed full-time to be clinically depressed.
To join a free, video-based LiveWell depression support group from the comfort of one’s own home or a nearby park bench, it’s as easy as going on to the LiveWell Foundation’s website for an access link. In order to maintain confidentiality, all participants sign in using their first names only. Although each group is led by a trained facilitator, all LiveWell meetings function as peer-to-peer support groups, and are not meant as professional counseling or emergency mental health treatment.
Disclaimer: The news site hosting this press release is not associated with LiveWell Foundation. It is merely publishing a press release announcement submitted by an organization, without any stated or implied endorsement of the information, product or service. If you are feeling extreme depression, please consult with your doctor or a licensed therapist.
About LiveWell Foundation
Dedicated to reducing the impact that depression has on our society, the LiveWell Foundation aims to raise public awareness and understanding of depression, and to create innovative peer-led solutions for helping people live well.Press Contact
Original Press Release.