Advocacy Partners

International Society for Affective Disorders Advocacy Partnership

The International Society for Affective Disorders is a multi-professional organisation dedicated to improving research, care and advocacy in the affective disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and related disorders). The fellows are active researchers and the society also has affiliates who are clinicians, researchers in training or members of recognised advocacy groups.

Our advocacy partners represent a variety of interests and include patient groups that represent those living with mental health problems and organisations striving to improve healthcare professionals standards of care by encouraging positive practice.

Self-help, mutual support, hope and recovery are the highest common factors underpinning all their work which is grounded in an appreciation and understanding of the evidence-base for the importance of these factors and the high value placed on them by their supporters and members. ISAD’s dedication and focus are of great importance to the work of the partners and those they support, work with and lobby for; in turn, the partners wish to share their expertise and enthusiasm with ISAD.

The partners also believe that self-help is an adjunct to good medical care and not an alternative to it and that optimal outcomes require biopsychosocial solutions and whole-systems approaches. The core objective of all our partners is to improve the care and quality of life of patients, their families, friends and carers. There are many facets to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing and the treatment of mental illnesses which need to be addressed to deliver such approaches. By joining together as a partnership with ISAD we are able to do justice to the diversity of issues and variety of approaches that are required for optimal care and we all become more than the sum of our separate parts.

ISAD hopes to support the self-help philosophy of our advocacy partners by creating opportunities for researchers to learn from them and use their input to inform and focus the direction of future research.

This joined-up approach and assertive voice will challenge those who claim that affective disorders are not even “severe and enduring”, but are merely “common mental health problems” or “worried wellness”. The linkage of advocacy groups with scientists and clinicians will create a powerful catalyst for changing such non evidence-based misconceptions in the personal experience of those with such disorders, those who support them and those who wish to find and deliver the best treatments for them. Further, this Partnership will challenge robustly those evidence-based factors at all levels in society that are known to mitigate against emotional health and wellbeing or that propagate and sustain affective disorders.

The Partnership aims to promote awareness of the conditions and disseminate research about treatments to health workers and the public. The linkage of advocacy partners to scientists and clinicians lends credibility and purpose at both national and international levels.


The Aim of this Partnership is to attract together all relevant interests and activities at both national and international levels to defeat the ignorance, prejudice, political apathy and poor care that are commonly associated with these highly disabling conditions, to enable research and to encourage, nurture and disseminate positive interventions and treatments for them.


To develop a robust network of concerned organisations and individuals at a global level;

To be a major influence on national governments and all organisations and individuals responsible for drafting and enacting relevant policy;
To promote awareness of the conditions and disseminate research about interventions and treatments to health workers and the public;

To promote and enable research, especially in primary care settings;

To give researchers real opportunities to learn from Partners; helping them to understand what really matters to users and informing their research agendas;

To encourage and enable the sharing of positive practice;

To develop an “International Perspective of Depression” (An evidence-based Resource for lobbying that is both culturally sensitive and applicable (‘tuneable’) to any national setting.

Advocacy Partners

ABRATA - The Brazilian Society for Affective Disorders
Our mission is to educate consumers and their families as well as professionals of the health area and the public, concerning the nature and treatment of affective disorders; to promote support to consumers and families; to eliminate stigma and discrimination and to encourage research in the area.

Balance – New Zealand Bipolar and Depression Network
The mission of BALANCE is to provide support, education and advocacy to anyone affected by bipolar disorder (manic depression) in New Zealand. BALANCE does this by encouraging and fostering links between bipolar support groups; by promoting training with an emphasis on recovery principles; and by supporting further research on bipolar disorder in New Zealand.

The Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is an educational, research and clinical facility offering specialist expertise in mood disorders - a range of disorders that include depression and Bipolar Disorder (formerly called 'manic depression'). The Institute is attached to the Prince of Wales Hospital and affiliated with the University of New South Wales.

The Institute's mission is to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of the mood disorders by continuously raising clinical, research, education and training standards. In so doing, the Institute aims to improve the lives of those affected - and in turn - the lives of their families and friends.

Centre for Mental Health
The Centre is a collaboration of all who share our values, bringing together and galvanising interested individuals, mental health organisations and leaders, patient groups, the media, corporate sector partners, and statutory agencies. It is designed to provide a beehive for policy and service development, giving everyone in mental health a voice.

Irish Association of Suicidology
The IAS is dedicated to disseminating information about suicide and suicide prevention so that public opinion can respond to the issue in an informed manner and assure that it is not ignored by the statutory authorities dealing with health, education and the environment. Suicide prevention is everybody's responsibility and the tide can only be turned by concerted coordinate action by all parts of our society. Through its conferences and publications, the association highlights various aspects of suicide and endeavours to influence public policy and insure that positive action is taken to provide adequate strategies to combat this tragic problem in our society.

Mood Disorders Society of Canada
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada provide a national voice for consumers and families to ensure their issues and concerns are understood and considered in the setting of research priorities, the development of treatment strategies and the creation of government programs and policies related to mental illness

MDF The BiPolar Organisation
MDF The BiPolar Organisation is a user led charity working to enable people affected by Bipolar disorder / manic depression to take control of their lives.

National Phobics Society
NPS is a national registered charity formed 30 years ago by a sufferer of agoraphobia for those affected by anxiety disorders. Today we are still a user-led organisation, run by sufferers and ex-sufferers of anxiety disorders supported by a high-profile medical advisory panel.

No More Panic

This site provides valuable information for sufferers and carers of people with Panic, Anxiety, Phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD).

Launched in March 1999, Primhe exists to help Primary Care Professionals (PCPs) and staff achieve and deliver the best standards of mental health care. As a charity with an independent voice, Primhe provides mental health support, services, resources, education and training.

World Federation for Mental Health
The World Federation for Mental Health is the only international, multidisciplinary, grassroots advocacy and education organization concerned with all aspects of mental health.