Keeping the Blues Away is a clinically tested programme to help prevent depression from returning: it has also shown efficacy in reducing depression severity. It includes information and exercises to teach coping, cognitive-behavioural and interpersonal skills and strategies to prevent relapses, drawing on a wide array of evidence-based techniques. The ten-step programme aims to support the patient as a whole person, and includes free access to supporting relaxation audio material. The programme is designed for use by GPs or mental health professionals in supporting patients, involving family members or carers where possible, and accommodating medication and the management of co-existing medical problems where necessary. Keeping the Blues Away will be a key relapse prevention tool for primary care healthcare professionals.
Introduction. Step 1 — Getting started: information about depression. Step 2 — Assessment and goal setting. Step 3 — Healthy lifestyle issues. Step 4 — Useful coping skills. Step 5 — Helpful thinking or cognitive strategies. Step 6 — Dealing with psychological issues. Step 7 — The benefits of activity. Step 8 — Fostering social support and skills. Step 9 — Developing a plan to manage early relapse symptoms. Step 10 — Reassess and review, plus helpful resources. Resources — where to go for help.