Best of 2015: GoodTherapy.org’s Top 10 Websites for Help with Depression

GoodTherapy.org's list of top depression websites for 2015Depression is a mental health issue that many people experience with varying levels of severity. It can occur as a symptom of another mental health condition, as the result of an event such as a death or divorce, or as an isolated issue with observable symptoms. Depression can follow a seasonal pattern and last a few months, or it can last years as a mild or severely debilitating condition. Although the range of experiences with depression vary greatly, it’s a prevalent mental health issue that affects people regardless of culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. Worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression affects 350 million people, and the organization classifies it as a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

Despite the widespread prevalence of depression, it is a treatable condition in many cases. An article published in the scholarly journal Cancer Nursing estimates that approximately 80-90% of people experiencing depression can be treated with psychotherapy, psychotropic medication, somatic interventions, or a combination of those methods. The WHO says that although effective treatments for depression exist, less than half of those who experience it—in many countries less than 10%—receive depression treatment. Some common barriers to access include social stigma, lack of resources, lack of trained providers, and inaccurate diagnosis.

GoodTherapy.org strives to bring visibility to available depression resources online, in addition to providing a space where those experiencing depression can find a trained mental health professional to connect with. It is with this in mind, and in accordance with our mission and vision of removing the stigma attached to depression and its treatment, that we present our list of the 10 best online resources for depression in 2015. Those included were selected on the basis of quality, depth of content, presentation, and functionality. Additionally, some selections were suggested by GoodTherapy.org readers.

  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a peer-directed national organization that focuses on two of the most prevalent mental health conditions. According to the organization, more than 21 million Americans are affected by bipolar and depression. DBSA provides a variety of resources for those experiencing depression and bipolar, their friends and family, and for professionals treating the conditions.
  • Depression Marathon: Since 2008, the author of Depression Marathon has been sharing her journey of self-discovery and re-creation “within the confines of depression,” as she puts it. The drive behind the inspirational blog is to reduce the stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of mental health issues.
  • Depression Forums: Sometimes the best words to hear during a journey of healing are, “Me too.” These words can reduce isolation, normalize feelings, and help people understand they are not alone when experiencing a mental health issue. A team of about 15 volunteer moderators at Depression Forums helps facilitate online discussions focused on mental health and depression that often lead to these two powerful words.
  • Depression Alliance: This U.K.-based organization seeks to end the loneliness and isolation that often accompanies depression. Visitors to the site can meet and chat with others locally, find a self-help group, or spend some time learning about depression and treatments for it. Additionally, Depression Alliance does advocacy work to eradicate the stigma of depression.
  • Students Against Depression: The website for this organization was created in the memories of Charlie Waller and Matthew Wood, two young men who died of suicide in 1997 and 2004, respectively. Their families started the Students Against Depression project in hopes of reaching young adults experiencing depression and suicidal thinking. The site offers advice, information, guidance, and resources for those affected by depression and suicidal ideation.
  • The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation: On March 2, 2001, Kelty Dennehy died by suicide at 17 after experiencing depression. His parents, Kerry and Ginny Dennehy, founded The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation the same year. Since its creation, the foundation has raised nearly $7 million to go toward care, education, and research projects for young people experiencing mental health issues.
  • Right Direction: Developed through a collaborative effort between the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, an American Psychiatric Foundation program, and Employers Health, Right Direction is an initiative focused on promoting awareness about depression in the workplace. The site helps employers promote wellness and better understand and reduce their stigma toward depression.
  • Families for Depression Awareness: Depression and bipolar are often significant risk factors for suicidal ideation and the act of suicide. Families for Depression Awareness was created to help families recognize and cope with the symptoms of depression and bipolar in an effort to prevent suicide. The organization offers an educational website, does advocacy work to support families affected by depression, and helps connect people to resources for depression.
  • Men’s Depression: According to the site’s mission, many men experience what they refer to as “covert depression.” Covert depression is the act of externalizing depression through violence, drugs, alcohol, or other maladaptive behaviors. Men’s Depression believes covert depression and an under-diagnosis of depression in men are a significant contributors to male suicide. The goal of the site is to provide outreach for men experiencing depression and for those willing to share their stories.
  • Blurt: This organization hosts an online space where people can connect to others who have or are experiencing depression. Blurt helps people develop a peer support network, learn about their depression diagnoses, and produces a series of popular podcasts featuring mental health experts. Their popular BuddyBox program also allows visitors to send a thoughtful gift to others, or practice a little self-care and send a box to yourself.

Have a favorite depression-related website and don’t see it on our list? Nominate helpful websites here.

References:

  1. Kessler, R.C., & Bromet, E.J. (2013). The epidemiology of depression across cultures. Annual Review of Public Health34, 119–138. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031912-114409
  2. Valente, S.M. & Saunders, J.M. (1997). Diagnosis and treatment of major depression among people with cancer. Cancer Nursing, 3, 168-77.
  3. World Health Organization. (2015, October). Depression: fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
  4. World Health Organization. (2014). The global burden of disease: 2004 update. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/2004_report_update/en/

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  • 9 comments
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  • Samantha

    December 28th, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    I love looking over your comprehensive lists at the end of the year- they give us excellent resources that most of us probably didn’t know about before. Thanks for all of your hard work that you do!

  • Hester

    December 28th, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    This looks like a wonderful list that I am sure many people are going to benefit from you posting here.

  • Iris

    December 28th, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    I cannot imagine the grief that a family of a teenager who commits suicide must feel and to take that sadness and hopefully turn it into something good for others like the Dennehy family has done is pretty remarkable. That shows a strength and courage that I am not sure that I could ever have if this happened to me.

  • jess

    December 29th, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Some of the forums have been a real lifesaver for me. It is nice to know not that someone else is going through this but to at least know that there are others who understand what it is that you are feeling.

  • jackson

    December 29th, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    There are always those looking for resources but who have no idea where to start. Anyone that I hear looking I will definitely point them in this direction because this is a list that is pretty comprehensive and covers many of the different issues that people would be looking for. I think that if there was more accessibility like this then more people would or could be willing to seek out help because this is almost like it is a great start from home.

  • Angie B

    December 30th, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    One great thing that I can say about all of these websites is that it feels like they all try very hard to be very honest about struggles with depression while at the same time helping to reduce the general hesitation on the part of some to share their pain.
    If we could all just come to terms with the fact that there are millions of people that struggle with some form of depression and that there should be no shame in reporting this, then I think that we could go so much further with treatment and finding something that could realistically help everyone.

  • Zoey

    December 31st, 2015 at 11:08 AM

    Blurt looks pretty cool

  • Rebecca

    January 14th, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    Is there any financial help for those with depression?
    I have no job , no help from anyone ,
    And I cannot apply for disability. That takes 6 months or more anyways , even if I could apply. My landlord is threatening eviction now , January 2017.
    Please , please help me.
    Thank you.

  • Welcome Mind

    March 16th, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    This is an amazing list of websites for dealing with depression. For dealing with depression one can take counseling with the best psychiatrists. WelcomeMind is also an online portal meant for the individuals seeking treatment for depression and all other types of mental issues. It also contains a huge database of all types of mental health professionals to consult to.

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