We have spent over 10 years reviewing depression treatment research to find the information, skills and practices that will best help you to recover. The material in our meetings has largely been developed at major universities and tested in the real world with people like you - it is "evidence-based
". Most of these treatment options have been tested multiple times in different settings which mean that they are more likely to work for you!
One of the most important aspects of our meetings is the peer support. We provide this to you in two ways. First, Depression Recovery Groups are a way for you to talk with a variety of people who have had similar experiences with depression. Also, all of our group leaders except for one have recovered from depression - and most are Certified Peer Specialists*.
The research** says that peer support compares favorably with the usual care given for depression. In a recent major study of studies conducted by psychiatrists at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor it was found that peer support reduced the symptoms of depression as effectively as usual treatment.
This study also compared peer support with cognitive therapy and it was found that the effects of both approaches were very similar. In addition to having peer support as a foundation, the educational material in our meetings is also based on published research. Each of these meetings are full of information, exercises, discussions and readings that you can immediately use to shape up your recovery plan.
* Certified Peer Specialists are trained to facilitate the development of recovery skills. The purpose of peer support is to:
- Provide opportunities for individuals receiving services to direct their own recovery process
- Teach and support acquisition and utilization of skills needed to facilitate individual recovery
- Promote the knowledge of available service options and choices
- Promote the utilization of natural resources within the community
- Facilitate the development of a sense of wellness and self worth
- Be supportive of recovering person when in a crisis as part of the treatment team.
** Efficacy of Peer Support Interventions for Depression: A Meta-Analysis
Publication Journal: General Hospital Psychiatry, 2011
By Paul N. Pfeiffer, MD; Michele Heisler, MD; Department of Veteran Affairs, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor