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SGI News: Global activities for peace, education and culture

Women Winning Over Depression in Australia

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[Photo from SGI-Australia]

On June 23-24, SGI-Australia women in Sydney sponsored two seminars offering expert advice on overcoming depression, titled "The Darker the Night, the Nearer the Dawn," drawing over 800 SGI women, their families and friends. These meetings were part of a series of SGI women's meetings held throughout Australia in June and July.

An exhibition and film screening formed the backdrop for both days' activities. The exhibition, "Dark to Dawn: Being Creative About Depression," offered alternatives to the conventional wisdom that depression is only negative and destructive. A film focusing on the creative expression that vies to be set free within the lives of those touched by depression was also shown.

Four individuals shared personal accounts of challenging their own bouts of depression, each expressing gratitude to people in their immediate environment who consistently provided needed encouragement to never lose hope for their eventual return to sound health.

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[Photo from SGI-Australia]

Each day's program included a forum in which professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of depression shared their views and expertise. In addition, Buddhist perspectives on depression were presented that highlighted how Buddhist practice allows one to overcome feelings of powerlessness and how the community of SGI members provides nonjudgmental, nurturing support and friendship.

SGI-Australia women's leader Liz Bowen remarked that although many Australians live in material wealth, many of those same people experience loneliness, depression and lack of purpose in life. An objective of the women's meetings was to address these issues through the power of dialogue, highlighting the SGI's group discussion movement as an inspirational model for challenging the dilemmas of modern society with hope and confidence.

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