Marie Claire Australia Launches “Shine a Light on Depression” Campaign with Cameron Diaz on their January 2012 Cover

| 30 November , 2011 | Reply

Today the Australian Marie Claire Magazine is addressing the stigma and stereotypes around female depression with their January 2012 issue with Cameron Diaz on the cover.  Did you know one in five Australian women will suffer depression at some point in their lives. So why is it still seen as a weakness?  To help end this stigma, Marie Claire is launching Shine A Light, an online and print campaign in which celebrities and readers share their personal stories of depression and mental illness.

Jackie Frank, editor/publisher, marie claire, says: By 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of disability worldwide after heart disease. In Australia alone, more than three million people experience depression and anxiety each year. “Horrifyingly,” says Frank, “three in four of those people also say that the stigma associated with mental illness will have a devastating impact on their lives.  From difficulties in getting insurance to stalled career opportunities to being stigmatised as weak, silly or crazy, the troubles facing sufferers of depression extend far beyond their diagnosis.  It\’s crucial that Australian attitudes towards mental health change.”

“Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression,” says Jackie Frank, “but worries about judgement often keep them from speaking out.  

As part of marie claire\’s Shine A Light campaign, female celebrities including Asher Keddie, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Charlotte Dawson, Samantha Armytage, Jessica Rowe, Ada Nicodemou and Zoe Tuckwell-Smith have shared their stories of how everything from stress to severe depression has touched their lives.

Jackie Frank comments, “As Charlotte Dawson shares her story of suffering from depression for over 12 years, Jessica Rowe talks about her feelings of shame when her post-natal depression was at its worst, and Ricki-Lee reveals her diagnosis of depression in a time when she had chart-topping hits and wedding plans in place,– we are reminded that mental illness is both frighteningly common and indiscriminate in who it touches.”

To add to the personal stories of the celebrities, marie claire has launched an interactive online component of the Shine a Light campaign, an electronic forum in which people all over the world can come together and stand in support of mental illness, shining their light to end the stigma.

Advice for helping a friend with depression from beyondblue includes (see for more):

  • Encouraging people to talk about their experience
  • Letting them know you\’re there to listen without being judgemental
  • Offering to make them an appointment to see a doctor or health professional
  • Encouraging outdoor activity, social activities, exercise and eating well

Do not:

  • Pressure them to ‘snap out of it\’, ‘cheer up\’ or ‘get their act together\’
  • Stay away, or avoid the person or assume the problem will just go away
  • Tell them they just need to stay busy, get out more
  • Encourage them to party more or wipe out how they are feeling with drugs or alcohol

For further advice on mental health conditions, contact Lifeline (13 11 14), your family doctor, beyondblue, Sane Australia, the Australian Psychological Society referral service (1800 333 479) or e-hub self-help programs for mental health and wellbeing (

To show your support for marie claire\’s Shine A Light campaign, visit:, it’s an important issue and one that we should as the ‘sisterhood’ especially get behind and support.

The Marie Claire January 2012 issue is on newsstands today.

Credit: Alexia Sinclair for Marie Claire

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