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ADAP Program History

The ADAP program began in 1999 with two psychiatrists and one psychiatric nurse teaching a newly designed depression education curriculum to 530 students in eight schools. The first version of the Adolescent Depression Knowledge Questionnaire (ADKQ) was devised and administered to the students as a measure of their knowledge about depression before and after the curriculum. Over the ensuing thirteen years, the program has grown significantly. To date our statistics show:

Total students taught: 22,502
Total number of schools involved: 104
Total number of participating instructors: 181
Current states/regions involved:  Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, D.C, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, New York, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Indiana

ADAP Program Phases

The first several years of the program focused on developing and testing the student curriculum. Key findings from this period shaped the current format of the curriculum. These included analyses that demonstrated that teaching the curriculum in multiple versus one session led to greater improvement in ADKQ test scores as well as data showing that students taught the full curriculum in a classroom compared to an assembly setting also had greater improvement in their ADKQ scores.

After extensive revision and evaluation of the student curriculum, ADAP focused on increasing the number of students receiving the program materials. A central part of this effort included teaching the curriculum in a large public school district in Maryland. Through this work, ADAP finalized the student curriculum and the ADKQ as well as began developing and refining a training program intended to prepare psychiatric clinicians and nursing and medical students to teach the student curriculum.

Insights from the development of this training informed ADAP’s next effort, to create a training program for school-based personnel. After piloting this training with a network of schools in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Delaware, ADAP began expanding outside the immediate region. To facilitate national expansion of the program, ADAP developed a web-based training program which includes the central features of the in-person training program.

In addition to continuing to evaluate the web-based and in-person trainings, ADAP’s current focus is to identify collaborators, train health and school-based professionals, and facilitate the implementation of the student curriculum in schools across the country. Additionally, the program has begun conducting research to systematically evaluate the outcomes of the ADAP program and its impact on communities nationwide.

Additional Information and Links: 


ADAP Booklet Cover

Click on image above for PDF of Adolescent Depression: What we know, what we look for, and what we do.

ADAP won the 2010 Outstanding Merit Award from the Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry for "increasing awareness of adolescent depression and bipolar disorder while reducing the stigma associated with these illnesses."

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