A depression has an enormous impact on quality of life, work and relationships. Early recognition and intervention in depression can help prevent things from getting worse. ZonMw therefore funds a variety of projects, covering prevention and early detection through to individualised care.

Preventing depression

Averting a depression can prevent severe and/or chronic health complaints. This is good for an individual’s health and social participation, but also for reducing national care costs.

Prevention can take different forms. It can mean preventing certain people from becoming depressed, but it can also be directed towards the early detection of groups having a raised risk of depression so that timely help can be given if necessary. Relapse prevention is another important approach. ZonMw funds research into all these forms of depression prevention.

Diagnosis, treatment and recovery from depression

How are we to recognise and diagnose a depression at an early stage? What is the best form of treatment for a depression, and when can we say of an individual that they have recovered? Much is already known about the recognition and treatment of depression, but many questions also remain unanswered. To answer these questions, and to ensure that the early treatment of a depression is better attuned to the client’s own needs and wishes, a great deal of research into this topic is being funded.

Living with depression

Fifteen percent of all depressions become chronic, so it is vital that people with chronic depression are given practical help and support in learning to live with the illness. ZonMw therefore funds various research studies into long-term depression support.



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Tamara Adonis of Marloes van der Maas

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