Depression affects about 20% of adolescents and affects girls at higher rates than boys after age 15. Teen suicide is the second leading cause of death among people age 10-24 in the United States. Much of the current research about these topics focuses on treatment, but our team is looking at ways to prevent the onset of depression in the first place -- promoting the mental health and wellbeing of women and girls, families and communities.
Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director Tracy Gladstone is one of the foremost experts in the U.S. on depression prevention and has spent years developing effective, evidence-based programs. Among them is an innovative online intervention called CATCH-IT, which has the benefit of being easy to use, private, personalized, and accessible 24/7. Gladstone and her collaborators received a $7 million federal grant to scale this intervention nationally through primary care doctors who serve teens; she is also working on a special version of the intervention to serve college women. Her work has been funded by, among others, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health.
When it comes to depression and mental health, action based on high-quality research is urgently needed. Gladstone’s work will help ensure that fewer children, adolescents, and young adults suffer from this life-altering disease in the first place.
These are some of the grant-funded projects that advance our depression prevention research initiative:
- Depression/Suicide Prevention for Adolescents in Holliston
- Depression Prevention for Middle School Students in Natick
- Ministering to the Blue: Depression prevention for college students
- Primary Care and Community-Based Prevention of Mental Disorders in Adolescents
- Promoting Health and Wellbeing in Adolescents and Families through a Web-based Resource