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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

17 May 2006


Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, is encouraging local schools and parents to order their free copies of a new DVD - Tackling Depression in Schools - designed to raise awareness of depression in schools across Australia.

The three-program DVD provides information about depression aimed at helping students, teachers and parents manage and prevent the illness in the school community.

Mr Hawker said that the DVD was officially launched by beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett at Parliament House last week.

“beyondblue has initiated some excellent work to bring about attitudinal change on depression and support early intervention initiatives like this school and youth program,” Mr Hawker said.

“The Government is committed to working in partnership with beyondblue to tackle depression and other forms of mental illness in our society.”

Mr Hawker said that it is important that this generation of young people is better educated about depression than their parents and grandparents were.

“Everyone should know depression is an illness, not a weakness, and you shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help,” he said.

The DVDs include interviews with people, including celebrities, who have experienced depression, psychiatrists and GPs, as well as case studies designed to promote discussion about the signs and symptoms of depression. They also feature a panel discussion - Young People Ask Ybblue? - filmed in front of an audience of teenagers.

“Depression affects around 100,000 young people each year in Australia, and of these over 60 per cent don’t seek assistance from a health professional,” Mr Hawker said.

“It’s hoped that these DVDs will help young people, their parents and teachers to recognise that depression is an illness from which most people recover. It’s common and always treatable.”

The DVD, which includes notes for teachers and parents, is available free of charge and can be ordered via the website of by phoning beyondblue on (03) 9810 6100.

For more information about depression, available treatments and where to get help go to or (beyondblue’s youth website).

Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100