Centre for Continuing Education

Managing Depression in Primary Care Course

Psychiatry. Encouraging a healthier community.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Developed and delivered by the Discipline of Psychiatry at Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney, and open to all health professionals for continuing professional development.


This one-day training course on depression management is designed for health professionals in primary care to improve their skills in using psychological approaches and medications to treat patients with depression.

Depression in primary care

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting around one in six Australians, with almost twice as many women affected as men. The disability associated with depression is comparable to chronic physical illnesses and its presence worsens the prognosis for other mental and physical conditions. Up to 80% of suicides are preceded by depression. Costs associated with depression are very high, both for the sufferer as well as the community and society at large. Fortunately, effective psychological and pharmacological treatments are available, yet recent research indicates depression continues to remain under-recognised and under-treated in primary care.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • discuss the symptoms, prevalence, and burden of depression
  • develop a diagnostic framework for depression that links with treatment
  • identify appropriate pharmacological management strategies for depression
  • describe cognitive and behavioural treatments that are effective in the treatment of depression
  • incorporate cognitive and behavioural approaches in their treatment of patients
  • implement structured care of patients with depression in their practice to reliably improve patient safety.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Depression and the mood disorders
  • Role of lifestyle interventions in treatment
  • Behavioural models and behaviour therapy for depression
  • Cognitive theory and cognitive therapy for depression
  • Pharmacotherapy for depression.

CPD accreditation

  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP): 40 Category 1 points

Delivery style

Before the workshop, you will be required to view an educational video on depression in primary care as part of the predisposing activity. During the full-day training, a wide range of teaching methods will be used, including didactic presentations, case vignettes, videos, group discussions and worksheets. You will learn the benefits and limitations of different psychotropic medications, how to set up and implement a behavioural activation program, and identify and challenge cognitive distortions. A reinforcing activity sheet will be provided for you to consolidate your learning after the workshop at your own time.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • A well presented clinical presentation regarding depression, and I was very happy with the discussion about the treatment strategies.

What others say.

  • A well presented clinical presentation regarding depression, and I was very happy with the discussion about the treatment strategies.
  • The excellent tutors, content, and structure made this course extremely applicable for my practice. Very happy I attended.
  • This course was amazing, as were the presenters and their interactions with the class! They were very approachable which provided a relaxed setting.
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