Many topics will be explored including that being presented by Stephanie Johnson on the experiences and support needs for rural Australian women experiencing major depression. It is argued that women’s experiences and experiential knowledge and the challenges faced by people with mental health issues living in the bush have been inadequately taken into account and that service providers could gain from accessing service users’ experience and knowledge. There are five broad purposes for conducting this research. The first purpose is to explore women’s personal experiences of depression in order to give voice to the ‘lived experience’. The second purpose is to examine women’s understanding of the contributory factors causing and alleviating their depression. The third purpose is to consider how and if women’s experiences of living in rural Australia may have affected or influenced their depression experience. The fourth purpose is to identify what treatment options women chose and reasons for their choices. The final purpose is to determine what helps in women’s recovery from major depression amongst those interviewed.
Stephanie Johnson is a broadcaster, mental health professional, author and researcher. Stephanie has been working in the area of education for the last fifteen years and has been practising as a counsellor since 1993. Her background is in solution focused counselling and social work; she has a four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree from University of Tasmania and a three-year Master of Social Work degree from University of Newcastle, Australia. Stephanie is studying a PhD in mental health currently.