Program for Depression


The World Picture

One in seven Australians suffer with some form of depression in their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization, based on a measure of its negative effects on communities and individuals, it is currently rated as the world’s most debilitating illness.  Studies have shown that depression is implicated in the development of other undesirable consequences such as chronic fatigue, weakening of the immune system, heart disease, obesity and suicide. It attacks all age groups and social classes, and its effects on family members, friends and work-mates can be enormously challenging.

The Program

This free 10-week program for depression will provide participants with a supportive space and tools to help them explore the nature of their own depression, its contributing causes and options for recovery.  Its approach is contemplative, enabling participants to sit beside their dark feelings while maintaining the needed emotional distance that allows them to extract personal lessons from their experience.

There are varied and conflicting theories about depression and its treatment.  Informing this program’s content and delivery is the view that depression is a condition in which aspects of a person’s natural growth becomes blocked.  This blockage will be approached as more than an individual issue, as having roots deep in our family, social, cultural and natural environments.  Because the interplay between these private and more public areas of our lives are often unclear (e.g., the effects on us of policies that confine refugees to detention camps in a foreign country without public scrutiny, or the valuing and rewarding of work away from home over work, like child-rearing, done at home) space will be made for broader considerations of the social influences on our individual mental health.

According to psychiatrist and United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, “…we should not accept that medications and other biomedical interventions be commonly used to address issues which are closely related to social problems, unequal power relationships, violence and other adversities that determine our social and emotional environment. There is a need of a shift in investments in mental health, from focusing on ‘chemical imbalances’ to focusing on ‘power imbalances’ and inequalities.”

Its Hope

We are embedded in a complex web of interrelationships, many of them with people we may never meet or whose names we may never know.  Yet these unknown individuals effect us, sometimes in life-changing ways.  As a consequence, we may feel overshadowed and diminished by forces larger and more powerful than ourselves.  How do we negotiate on behalf of our own needs?  Together we will explore ways through and beyond the paralysis-like state called depression to recover some of the natural power and flow that was originally ours.

Dr. Nathan Cooney, a Bowral general practitioner, will be facilitating one of the sessions to bring participants up to date with current medical views on depression and how they may be integrated with life-style management and meditative practices.


When: Wednesdays, 12:30- 2:30, starting May 9th, 2018

Where: 1 Clearview St., Bowral

Cost: Free

Information & Bookings: 02 4862 3595 or


* Program limited to 12 participants




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