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Depression : Training Module

Introduction: Depression

This stand-alone course, developed to build upon the successful Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) program, offers an in-depth exploration of Depression. As a stand-alone course, it is specifically tailored to provide you with the essential tools and knowledge to effectively support those struggling with depression. This comprehensive guide is suitable for a wide range of individuals, from mental health professionals to concerned friends and family members, or even those simply interested in expanding their understanding of this complex mental health condition.

As you progress through the course, you will also discover best practices for engaging with those experiencing depression in a compassionate and supportive manner. This includes learning how to provide immediate, effective first-line support to individuals struggling with depression. The course will guide you through crisis intervention techniques and essential safety measures that can make a significant difference in someone’s life, and familiarise you with available mental health resources and services in Scotland, ensuring that you can assist individuals in accessing the support they need for long-term recovery.

What is: Depression?

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a common and serious mental health condition characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. It can affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, behaviour, and overall physical health, leading to a range of emotional and physical symptoms.

Symptoms of depression may include: Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood; Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex; Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, or irritability; Fatigue or decreased energy.

Additional symptoms include: Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping; Appetite or weight changes; Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts; Aches, pains, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease with treatment.

Depression can be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors, and it affects people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Treatment for depression often involves a combination of psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy), medication, and lifestyle changes. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the prognosis and overall quality of life for someone with depression.

The Facts & Figures: About Depression

  • In the Scottish Health Survey 2019, approximately 15% of adults in Scotland reported symptoms of depression.
  • The prevalence of depression was higher among women (17%) compared to men (13%).
  • Young adults aged 16-24 years had the highest prevalence of depressive symptoms at 23%.
  • According to the Mental Health in Scotland report published in 2020, depression was one of the most common reasons for people to seek help from mental health services.
  • The same report also mentioned that the number of people in contact with mental health services for depression increased between 2014 and 2019.

The Problem: Common misconceptions about Depression


Depression is just feeling sad

Many people believe that depression is simply an extended period of sadness. In reality, depression is a complex mental health disorder with a range of emotional, physical, and cognitive symptoms. It goes beyond feeling sad and can include feelings of hopelessness, guilt, irritability, and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Depression is a sign of weakness

Some people may view depression as a sign of personal weakness or a character flaw. However, depression is a legitimate medical condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their personality, background, or perceived strength.

You can "snap out of" depression

It is a common misconception that people with depression can simply choose to feel better or "snap out of it." Depression is not a choice, and recovering from it often requires a combination of treatment methods, such as therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

Antidepressants are the only treatment

While medication can be helpful for many people with depression, it is not the only available treatment option. Psychotherapy, exercise, mindfulness, and other complementary therapies can be effective in managing depression. It is important to work with a mental health professional to develop a tailored treatment plan.

Depression always has a clear cause

Some people believe that depression must be triggered by a specific event or circumstance. Although certain life events or stressors can contribute to depression, it can also develop without an apparent cause. Factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, and hormonal imbalances can play a role in the onset of depression.

Depression is always visible

Many individuals with depression may appear to be functioning well in their daily lives, leading others to assume they are not truly suffering. This misconception can be harmful, as it may prevent people with depression from seeking help or receiving the support they need. Depression can manifest differently in different people, and it is crucial to recognise that the severity of the condition can vary greatly.

Negative & damaging attitudes towards Depression are common: There's something you can do for yourself, your friends, your family and your colleagues...

Depression: Why should you undertake this training?

As a stand-alone course, the Depression module provides essential skills and knowledge that can be applied in various settings, including schools, workplaces, and communities. By participating in this transformative learning experience, you will not only be investing in your own personal and professional growth, but also making a positive impact on the lives of those affected by depression.


Enhanced understanding

The "Depression" module provides a comprehensive understanding of depression as a complex mental health condition, including its various forms, symptoms, and contributing factors.

Early identification

By participating in the module, individuals can learn to recognise the signs of depression in themselves and others, which can help facilitate early intervention and support.

Improved communication

The course teaches participants how to approach and engage with those experiencing depression in a compassionate and empathetic manner, promoting more effective communication and support.

Crisis intervention

The module equips participants with crisis intervention techniques and essential safety measures, allowing them to provide immediate help to those struggling with depression.

Access to resources

The "Depression" module familiarises participants with available mental health resources and services in Scotland, enabling them to guide individuals towards appropriate professional help.

Tailored support

The module emphasises the importance of a personalised approach to mental health, which can help participants develop the skills to provide customised support based on an individual's unique needs and circumstances.


By completing the course, participants gain the knowledge and confidence to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by depression, contributing to a more understanding and supportive society.

Stigma reduction

The module fosters greater awareness and understanding of depression, which can help combat the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental health, leading to a more inclusive and empathetic environment for those affected.

Transferable skills

The techniques and strategies learned in the course are not limited to supporting those with depression. Participants can apply these skills in various areas of their personal and professional lives, promoting healthier relationships and overall well-being.

The Good news: There is a training module which will enhance your understanding, and foster empathy and support for those experiencing mental health challenges

Three Hour Module: Depression

Are you ready to make a lasting impact on the lives of those affected by depression? The “Depression” module is a comprehensive and accessible three-hour course designed to equip you with the essential tools and knowledge to effectively support individuals struggling with this complex mental health condition. This stand-alone course is ideal for mental health professionals, friends, family members, or anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of depression and how to help those in need.

By participating in the “Depression” module, you will not only gain a thorough understanding of the intricacies of depression, its symptoms, and causes, but you will also learn how to identify early warning signs, approach someone in need with empathy, and provide immediate, tailored support. Furthermore, the course will familiarise you with the available mental health resources and services in Scotland, empowering you to guide individuals towards the professional help they require for long-term recovery.

What does the “Depression” Module Cover?


Understanding Depression

This area focuses on providing a comprehensive understanding of depression, including its various forms, symptoms, and contributing factors. Participants will gain insights into the complexities of this mental health condition.

Identifying Depression

The module teaches participants how to recognise the signs of depression in themselves and others. It emphasises the importance of early identification and intervention, which can help facilitate better support and treatment outcomes.

Approaching Someone with Depression

This section covers the best practices for engaging with individuals experiencing depression. Participants will learn how to approach and communicate with people in a compassionate, empathetic, and supportive manner.

Providing Immediate Help

The course equips participants with practical techniques for providing effective first-line support to those struggling with depression. This includes crisis intervention strategies and essential safety measures to help individuals in need.

Connecting to Professional Help

The module familiarises participants with the available mental health resources and services in Scotland. It emphasises the importance of guiding individuals towards appropriate professional help for long-term recovery and ongoing support.

Personal and Professional Development

The "Depression" module contributes to participants' personal and professional growth by enhancing their knowledge of mental health and developing essential life skills, such as empathy, communication, and problem-solving. These skills can be applied in various areas of your life, promoting healthier relationships and overall well-being.

How does the "Depression" module work?


The module takes 3 Hours,  providing a focussed and comprehensive learning experience.

Small Group Sizes

Classes, of 8-16, are kept small to facilitate personalised attention, encourage active participation, and foster a supportive learning environment.

Interactive Learning

The course features a mix of presentations, group discussions, case studies, videos, and role-playing exercises to ensure a practical, hands-on learning experience.


Instructors maintain a safe and confidential space for participants to share their experiences and ask questions without judgment.

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Why Train with Green Ribbons?

Unraveling the Threads of Mental Well-being

Green Ribbons is dedicated to delivering high-quality Mental Health First Aid training in Scotland, empowering individuals to recognise mental health challenges, provide support, and foster a culture of empathy and understanding. By tying together knowledge, empathy, and resilience our accessible mental health training promotes understanding, reduces stigma, and enables individuals, businesses and communities to prioritise mental well-being. Everyone benefits from Mental Health Awareness Training

Our Experience
  • 30 Years working within the Mental Health sector
  • Experience across a range of Third-Sector Organisations
Our Specialties
  • Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA)
  • Tailored SMHFA Training
  • Individual Mental Health Awareness Modules
  • One-to-one Training & Coaching
Our Approach
  • Empathy & compassion
  • Inclusive
  • Evidence-based and up-to-date
Our Areas
  • Moray
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  • …across Scotland

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