dear Mike, what you have said is something you should be congratulated for doing, because it's a great cause that you want to achieve, but it's never easy to do, however to have gone through this terrible experience yourself means so much in being able to talk to those who are suffering.
To choose this new path or direction is such an advantage for you, because you yourself has had to go through all what depression throws at us, and if you had not had depression then how could you ever be able to counsel someone, sure a text book can tell you what depression is all about, but it doesn't give you how you actually feel, that's impossible, you have to have had this illness to experience how devastating it is, and then the person you are counselling you know exactly what they are struggling with.
You deserve praise, but can I say that we never understand what the traumas depression will throw at us, but also, you are two or three steps are ahead of those that have never encountered this horrible illness.
Well done and the more you can read posts and reply to people the more you will learn. Geoff.