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How the ADAP Program Works

The three-hour ADAP student curriculum employs multiple teaching formats including:

  • Interactive lectures and discussions
  • Video of teenagers describing their experiences with depression and bipolar disorder
  • Homework and video assignments to reinforce key points
  • Group interactive activities to teach the key message that depression is a common, treatable, medical illness

The students are given a pre-test (the ADKQ) prior to the program and a follow-up post-test six weeks after the program in order to determine if they are gaining critical knowledge about depression. These knowledge assessments are anonymous and allow us to provide valuable feedback to collaborating schools about student knowledge change.

Since its inception in 1999, ADAP has trained over 2000 health and school-based professionals and taught over 70,000 high school students. Moving forward, ADAP will continue to train health and school-based professionals in order to implement the program in schools nationwide.


Swartz KL, Kastelic EA, Hess SG, Cox TS, Gonzales LC, Mink SP, DePaulo JR. The effectiveness of a school-based adolescent depression education program. Health Education and Behavior.  2010 Feb; 37(1): 11-22.

Hess SG, Cox TS, Gonzales LC, Kastelic EA, Mink SP, Rose LE, Swartz KL. A survey of adolescents' knowledge about depression.  Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 2004 Dec;18(6):228-34.


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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