What: Depression: The Way Out

When: Orientation is at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Course begins Sept. 9 and will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays for eight weeks

Where: Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5001 Foothills Drive, Farmington

Cost: Orientation is free. Cost for the complete participant kit is $135 per person and $180 per couple. Scholarships and smaller packages are available.

To register: Call 505-327-9034 or email wellnessinfo@advantas.net.

FARMINGTON — For those grappling with depression, just getting out of bed can be difficult.

A 20-week depression recovery program called "Depression: the Way Out" aims to help those people. The program, developed by Dr. Neil Nedley of Ardmore, Okla., begins in September. It kicks off with a free orientation Monday at Piñon Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The program's goals include helping people identify depression and its causes, improve emotional intelligence, enhance energy levels and mood and defeating depression.

Nedley, an internal medicine physician, developed the program after conducting scientific research related to diseases of the mind. He also has clinical experience treating depression.

Course participants will attend on-site sessions for eight weeks and then will complete the remaining 12 weeks of the program on their own.

"We have many success stories of folks who have completed this course the first two times it was offered," said the program's facilitator Ron Price, executive director of the Four Corners Coalition for Marriage and Family. "One past participant was so down he required electro-shock therapy and was inches away from losing his family. He now is restored to a wonderful quality of life with a new career and a solid home life."

Dr. Neil Nedley
Dr. Neil Nedley (Courtesy of Neil Nedley)

Another past course participant, Rebecca, who asked that her last name not be used, said that she has struggled with depression since childhood and attempted suicide as an adult. A year and a half ago, she tried Nedley's depression recovery program and says it turned her life around.

"The program really helps you understand your emotions and lets you know what you can do, instead of just feeling helpless," said Rebecca, who plans to go through the program again once it starts in September. "It gave me a lot of insight and helped me completely change my lifestyle."

Price cautioned that the course is not well-suited to those who are experiencing other types of serious psychological disorders that require professional treatment.

"We're looking for 'normal' people whose thoughts run away from them from time to time, folks whose relationships are in a far too constant state of turmoil or even folks who just wish they could make more sense of their lives and make better decisions," he said. "I believe we can all benefit from what this course has to offer."

Leigh Black Irvin covers health for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4610 and lirvin@daily-times.com Follow her @irvindailytimes on Twitter.