A formal partnership between U.S. physician Neil Nedley and Adventist Health, the health ministries department of the South Pacific Division, will see redesigned Depression Recovery Program resources arriving in Australia and New Zealand from September.
Nedley, author and president of Weimar Center of Health and Education, claims a 98 percent response rate for his residential depression interventions, which combine the healing effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy, Omega-3, exercise, a plant-based diet and spiritual activity. The community-based Depression Recovery Program draws on this success and makes many of the same insights and tools available to groups meeting in church halls or other venues.
Nedley says his program is not intended to replace psychiatric medication in every case, but it’s clear that his emphasis is on holistic care.
“Science is now showing that nutrition and lifestyle can actually intervene in the treatment of disease,” he said. “There is a role for surgery, there is a role for medication in certain diseases; but there’s also a much more powerful role for nutrition and lifestyle measures than many Western-trained doctors actually realize.”
Individual local Adventist churches in the South Pacific region have previously connected with their local communities by running depression recovery programs — liaising directly with Nedley Health Solutions in the United States to do so. The positive results of these programs lent a buzz to an appearance by Nedley at a Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP)/Depression Recovery Program summit held at Australia’s Avondale College of Higher Education in February.
Similarly to the process undertaken when Adventist Health acquired CHIP, the Depression Recovery resources are being updated to reflect the latest research and given a fresh new design.
“They had hoped that this material would be available in April,” said Paul Rankin, associate director for Adventist Health. “However there were some hiccups along the way. I had a telephone conference with Dr. Nedley several days ago, and he has promised me that the material will be available in Australia on Sept. 1.”
Adventist Health is taking inquiries from South Pacific Division churches and other community groups hoping to run depression recovery programs via e-mail [email protected].