Area residents suffering from depression have an opportunity to participate in a free program which could help them overcome it.
The Emory Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program is conducting a depression clinic, at 150 Country Club Drive, in Stockbridge. The clinic is part of a research study, according to Maryann Jacob, assistant professor of psychiatry at Emory University.
"The study has been going on for about four and a half years, and it's funded the National Institute of Mental Health," she said. "When someone comes to us for depression treatment, we don't know what would predict their response to treatment. So, the study is looking at predictors of response to treatment for depression."
Jacob said although the study is not limited to residents of Henry County, the Stockbridge location was chosen because of what study organizers see as a need in the area.
"There seems to be few low-cost or free mental-health facilities south of Atlanta," she said. "It's a good location, just off I-75, so I think it'll give good access to people, even in neighboring counties."
Dr. Boadie Dunlop is the director of the program at the clinic, which opened last month. He said feedback from patients at the no-cost facility has been positive, thus far.
"From people we've spoken to in Newton, Henry and Clayton counties, there's a sense that there is a need for a clinic to help people with depression who lack health insurance, or might not want to use their insurance for something like this," said Dunlop.
He added that he and other staffers at the clinic expect to be conducting the study, in Stockbridge, for at least two years.
Participants must be those who have not been treated for depression in the past. In addition to free therapy, medication, treatments and testing, they will receive a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation as part of the program, according to Dunlop.
"Every participant will be seen a study psychiatrist, and if it looks like they have clinical depression, then they would enter procedures for the study," he said. "People who qualify will receive at least six months of treatment. For those for whom the treatment is helping, they will receive treatment for a total of two years."
For more information, call the clinic at (404) 778-6663.