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AZ launches US depression campaign online

AstraZeneca has launched 'Take on depression' via Twitter and Facebook, aiming to provide support for sufferers of depressive disorders in the US

AstraZeneca (AZ) has launched 'Take on depression' via Twitter and Facebook. The campaign aims to provide support and information for sufferers of bipolar and major depressive disorder (MDD) in the US.

Take on Depression campaign's Facebook pag
The 'Take on depression' Facebook page

The campaign's Facebook page clearly states it is intended 'for US consumer audiences only'. The page, which allows anyone with a Facebook profile to show their support with a 'like', contains information about depression and bipolar disorder and provides readers with further information and support. 

The Facebook page also invites people who are living with bipolar or MDD to enter their stories through a number of different media such as video, song, art, essay or poetry into the 'SPEAK and be heard' competition run by AZ in partnership with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).


The Face Depression campaign's Twitter page
The 'Face Depression' Twitter feed 

The campaign is complemented by a Twitter account, which, according to a statement will 'provide articles, links to websites, tips, and community events that will help people learn more about their illness and have a more effective dialogue with their physician'. However, unlike the Facebook page which has open access, Twitter users must request approval before they are able to follow any tweets. At the time of writing, the Face Depression Twitter feed only had 14 approved followers.

Sandy Sommer, executive director and commercial brand leader at AstraZeneca said: "AstraZeneca believes the best way to help those who are still struggling with bipolar depression and major depressive disorder is to provide them with resources and tools to help understand their illness and manage their symptoms." 

"With the launch of these Facebook and Twitter pages, AstraZeneca hopes to amplify conversations about mental health and provide important health information in innovative ways," Sommer continued.

According to AZ, around 14m adults in the US are affected by MDD each year. MDD is different to passing mood states and sadness as it is persistent and can affect mood, behaviour, thoughts and physical health.

Bipolar disorder can also impact on thoughts, activity and physical health causing extreme mood swings known as bipolar mania at the top end of the scale and bipolar depression at its lowest.

AstraZeneca markets Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate), which is approved in the US for both depression and bipolar disorder, as well as for schizophrenia.  

14th October 2010

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