About the Australian Genetics of Depression Study

Clinical depression is Australia’s second most widespread mental health condition, with one in five people experiencing it in their lifetime.

Many international studies have to date explored an individual’s genetic predisposition to depression. However no study has yet identified the specific genes that cause depression.

The Australian Genetics of Depression Study aims to find:

  • Genetic markers common to people who have experienced depression, compared to those who have not; and
  • Genetic markers common to people who respond well to anti-depressant medication, compared to those who do not.

For this study, we are aiming to recruit Australian men and women aged 18+ who:

  • have been treated for clinical depression, OR 
  • are currently being treated for clinical depression.

Participating in the study involves completing an online survey. We will also ask whether you would be willing to provide access to some of your Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) history. After completing the survey, you may be asked to donate a saliva sample, so that researchers can extract your DNA. To collect this sample, researchers will send you a collection kit together with a pre-paid return envelope. The kit will allow you to collect the sample in your own home, within a matter of minutes.

Your participation in the Australian Genetics of Depression Study is confidential, and all information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence, in accordance with Commonwealth privacy laws and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines.

We need a large number of Australian participants for this 500,000 participant-strong international study to succeed. Only with your help can we significantly improve the treatment outcomes for those living with depression, and pave the way for future medical research into mental health.

Take our survey

If you are living with clinical depression, or concerned you might be living with clinical depression, experiencing negative emotions, or generally feeling down and need help, call Headspace on 1800 650 890, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 224 636, or or talk to your doctor, local health professional, or someone you trust today.


Participate in our survey to help us
better understand the genetics of depression