Alberta leads the way using patients to determine priorities for research in depression.

(Edmonton, Alberta) January 25, 2018... Nearly 400,000 Albertans will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Many will go undiagnosed or even worse untreated. The Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support Unit along with the Addiction & Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network at Alberta Health Services, and the Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network want to change all that. In a first in Alberta, people living with depression were consulted about direction, emphasis, and priority for depression research in the province.

Mental health research is often conducted without input from people who live with depression. This includes those who experience depression directly as well as those who care for those individuals, including family, friends, healthcare professionals, and clinicians. So, in a unique project - led by Dr. Lorraine Breault from the University of Alberta - patients, families, caregivers, and researchers came together to create Alberta's top 11 depression research priorities. The 11 priorities include everything from the impact of diet and exercise on mental health - to the effects of long term pharmacotherapy to treat depression. Researchers in Alberta, looking to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from depression, can look to this list for guidance.

"We know that mental health researchers engage in research to improve the lives of those suffering from depression," says Dr. Lorraine Breault. "The intent around creating Alberta's top 11 depression research priorities was to bring better alignment between the research community and those living with and caring for those with depression."

"Having the voices, opinions and experiences of patients, families, caregivers and clinicians greatly benefits research, as who better to inform research questions than those with lived experience,"

Dr. Frank MacMaster, Scientific Director Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network.

The Alberta SPOR Support Unit is proud have to played a role in bringing patients, families, caregivers, and researchers together to help shape future research for mental health in Alberta. We know that this type of patient-oriented research will fundamentally make a difference in the lives of those living with depression.

Tim Murphy, Vice President of Provincial Platforms and SPOR for Alberta Innovates

For more information, contact:

Dwayne Brunner
(780) 423-5727 ext. 224