Major depression affects 6-7% of the U.S. population and is the leading cause of disability for adults ages 18-44. In spite of the large toll it takes on individuals, families, and communities, there have been relatively few forums for people to share their experiences, express their treatment needs, and be heard by individuals directly involved in research, development, and regulation of medications, medical devices, and diagnostic tests.

That is why we are pleased to share news about a new initiative from our partner, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). The “Well Beyond Blue” initiative includes several opportunities for people whose lives have been affected by depression to help researchers, regulators, and life science companies better understand what it’s like to live with depression and what is most important in terms of better treatment options. They want to involve people who have experienced depression on its own or along with other health conditions.

If you or a loved one has experienced depression, your help is needed to ensure that the full range of experiences with depression is reflected in this first-of-its-kind effort.

First, mark your calendar for November 16, 2018. DBSA will host the Well Beyond Blue Patient-Focused Medical Product Development in the Washington, D.C.-area from 12:30-4:30 p.m. You can participate in person or from your home or office via a live webcast. The meeting will feature panel and group discussion, actively engaging all individuals with experience living with depression about their most problematic symptoms, impacts of depression on daily life, treatment approaches, and what outcomes of treatment matter most to them. FDA staff, drug and medical device developers, and researchers will be in active listening mode to hear your perspectives. Reserve your seat (in person or by webcast) by registering here.


Second, share your perspective via an online survey. The 3-part anonymous “Supporting Wellness” survey will support patient-centered development of new medical products and care, as well as inform research funding priorities. It was developed in partnership with volunteers living with depression and bipolar and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Responses collected between now and November 16 will help refine the discussion on the day of the meeting. Survey results will be included in the final Well Beyond Blue report that will be shared with FDA, life science companies, research funders, the community of people with lived experience, and the public. Take the survey now.

Third, help spread the word! Share this news with family members, friends, business associates, and others who share your interest in improving treatment options for people with depression. The more people we reach, the greater the impact will be!

By raising your voice through this unique campaign, you will accelerate progress for more and better options to treat depression and achieve or regain wellness. Join PlatformQ and DBSA in support of better treatment and care for depression by taking action today!