Doug Russell/Andrew Law
Families for Depression Awareness
FAMILIES FOR DEPRESSION AWARENESS LAUNCHES ADULT
DEPRESSION WELLNESS GUIDE NATIONWIDE
First-Ever Depression Wellness Guide for Families; Developed in Advance of FDA Hearings on
Adult Antidepressant Use and Suicide Risks
WALTHAM, Mass. (December 7, 2006)—Families for Depression Awareness, a national nonprofit
organization dedicated to helping families recognize and cope with depressive disorders, today announced
the nationwide release of its Depression Wellness Guide for adults, following an extensive pilot study.
This is the first simple, practical tool that helps adults with depression monitor treatment—in conjunction
with their clinician, family and friends. The educational booklet consists of daily tools, including diaries
and worksheets, to track symptom progress.
The Depression Wellness Guide for adults was created in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s
(FDA) advisory that patients, family members and clinicians monitor antidepressant treatment together.
Treatment monitoring will likely be an important issue in the FDA’s December 13 hearing on adult
antidepressant use and suicide risks. Families for Depression Awareness believes firmly that family and
friends play an essential role in effective treatment and treatment should be monitored.
“To-date, FDA guidance is clear—close monitoring of antidepressant treatment and depression symptoms
is necessary,” said Julie Totten, president of Families for Depression Awareness. “Unfortunately,
treatment monitoring is not the norm, and most patients do not have a systematic framework to guide
them. The Depression Wellness Guide is the first simple, practical tool bridging the gap between
embracing the FDA’s guidance and closely following it.”
The guide is designed for adults with major depression or dysthmia. It was developed by a clinical review
committee. The pilot