Depression can happen to anyone. You don’t have to face it alone. There is help available.

What is depression?

Depression is more than just feeling sad or low, it is a serious condition that affects one in seven Australians in their lifetime. Depression is a persistent lowering of someone’s mood which can last for weeks, months or even years. Understanding and recognising the symptoms in ourselves or others is an important step in managing depression. There are many effective ways to treat depression and many individuals go on to lead meaningful and productive lives.

Depression presents differently in different people and it is not always easy to know if someone is experiencing depression. Some common symptoms are:


  • Feeling sad, ‘flat’ or down most of the time (for two weeks or more)
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy (for two weeks or more)
  • Change in appetite, sudden weight loss or gain
  • Having problems sleeping or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling tired or lacking energy and motivation
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling angry or lashing out
  • Difficulty concentrating or being indecisive
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Withdrawal from social interaction
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you are feeling as though you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please contact your GP, and remember Lifeline is available 24/7 on 13 11 14.

Depression – Factsheet 

There isn’t a set way to manage depression – what works for one person may not work for another, but there are certain things that may help you to cope:


  1. Talk to a someone you trust – talking to a friend, family member, religious or community leader, or GP can help you move forward. It is important to stay connected during this time.
  2. Go for a walk – exercise releases ‘happy’ hormones which increase feelings of wellbeing.
  3. Look after yourself – eat a balanced diet, try to get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol and other drugs.
  4. Stick to a routine wherever possible. The sense of having accomplished daily tasks will promote a sense of wellbeing.
  5. Plan and schedule in things you used to enjoy, even if you may not feel like doing them right now.
  6. Congratulate yourself on every task you achieve, no matter how small.
  7. Individual therapy with trained health professionals can provide a safe space to talk about your experience.

Some people may experience thoughts of suicide when they are feeling low or hopeless. It is critical that if you or someone you know is feeling this way that they seek immediate help.

Depression – Factsheet 

It can be hard reaching out for help but there are a variety of services and supports available. Some suggestions are detailed below. If life is in danger, please call 000.

  • Beyond Blue – a free helpline provides advice and support via telephone – 1300 22 4636 and Beyond Blue – Web Chat (between 3pm-12am)
  • Mensline Australia – a 24/7 free online and phone counselling service for men – 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline – free, confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5-25 – 1800 55 1800 or About WebChat Counselling | Kids Helpline
  • Mindspot Clinic – provides free, anonymous assessment and treatment for adults experiencing stress, anxiety, and OCD.
  • E-couch depression program – a free, evidence-based program to help reduce depressive symptoms and improve your life. 
  • This Way Up – online, evidence-based CBT course for anxiety. You can get instant access for $59 or speak with your GP to enrol for free.
  • Moodfit – A free mental health app whose tools and insights can help to ‘shape up’ your mood. 
  • Attend your GP to create a mental health treatment plan. This plan entitles you to Medicare rebates for up to 20 sessions per year with some allied mental health professionals. 

Depression – Factsheet 

For Crisis Support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (available 24/7), chat online at (12pm – 6am AEST) or text 0477 13 11 14 (12pm – 6am AEST).

Are you withdrawing from family and friends?

Do you not get pleasure out of things you previously enjoyed? Are you having problems with your sleep? Do you feel life is not worth living anymore? Are you feeling irritable? Do you feel like a failure? Has your appetite increased or decreased? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Have you considered you may have depression? Talk to someone now.


Treatment can help a lot to reduce and even eliminate the symptoms of depression. Treatment may include a combination of psychological therapy, medication and community support. In severe cases where other treatments do not help, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be helpful too. 

  1. Individual therapy — a doctor, psychologist, or other health professional talks with the person about their symptoms, and discusses alternative ways of thinking about and managing them. There are a number of evidence-based treatments that can make a difference. 
  2. Medication — antidepressant medications may be needed, especially if the symptoms are moderate-severe. 
  3. Community support programs — this support should include information, accommodation, help with finding suitable work, training and education, psychosocial rehabilitation and mutual support groups. Understanding and acceptance by the community is also very important. 
  4. Lifestyle and complementary therapies — there are a number of changes that individuals can make in their lives that can make a difference, especially when the symptoms are mild. These may include exercise, planning pleasant events and many others.


There is no one set way to treat depression but it is important to consider that you may need a combination of medical, psychological, community and lifestyle treatments.

For 24-hour telephone crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14

If life is in danger, call 000

Lifeline South Coast would like to acknowledge the lives that have been lost to suicide. We are committed to supporting those with a lived experience of suicide and aim to reduce the stigma around seeking help for poor mental health and suicidal crisis.