Helping Families Affected by Depression: Incorporating Prosocial and Caregiving Literature

  •  Magdalena Cismaru    
  •  Audrey Le Pioufle    


In this study, we use prosocial and caregiving literature to strengthen the family section of anti-depression campaigns. We suggest that the addition of the prosocial and caregiving insights bring a new perspective on depression caregiving of family members that goes beyond a mere description of the family’s reactions and coping abilities. Built on essential components such as empathy, knowledge and skills instead of fear or anxiety, the development of a specific theoretical framework for designers of anti-depression campaigns targeting people caring for family members suffering from depression increases our understanding of family member behavior as caregivers. It provides families with a comprehensive tool that includes motivational and determining factors in one’s will and ability to deliver appropriate help in the face of family illness. Specific recommendations for designers of social marketing campaigns are provided. In addition, we exemplify how an anti-depression campaign targeting family members of depressed people is consistent with the prosocial and caregiving literature, while waiting for a formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the model presented in this article.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.