In November 2006, the Department of Health published details of its policy for choice in mental health. The document, Our Choices in Mental Health, set out a national framework to enable people with mental health problems to be closely involved in choices relating to their treatment.
The framework provides advice and information for:
- patients and carers – on the kind of choices they should expect to receive
- health professionals – on how they can extend the choices they offer in mental health services
Choices should include how, when, where and what treatments and services are offered.
“Depression and Choice” provides information about depression and its treatment to help people to make choices about their condition and how involved they want to be in taking control of it.
Conventional sources of information include leaflets and reference books, but these are generally not intuitive in the ways they are presented, and certainly not interactive. Generally, they work best if you know what you’re looking for.
In contrast, Depression and Choice is designed to be intuitive. It does away with the need for an index by anticipating the questions that people want to be answered, and does all the cross-referencing for them by using hyperlinks, taking you into different sections at the click of a mouse button. In this way, Depression and Choice acts as both a self-learning tool, and a reference source.
For example, you might have a question about sexual side-effects with a particular drug. You search for this by clicking on the link for the drug name, and then the link relating to side effects. Or you can go straight to the page for the side effects of all the antidepressant medicines and follow the link from there. Depression and Choice gives both information and context: are sexual side effects common or rare? Why do they happen? What is it like to have them? Are there any long-term implications? Is there anything you can do about them? Are they more likely with some drugs than with others? Depression and Choice tells you instantly, immediately linking you to information about the issue in question, and what can be done about it.
The best way to get to know how to use Depression and Choice is to use it.