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Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP)

The Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP) educates school based professionals, high school students, and parents about the illness of depression. Through a student curriculum, a training program for health and school-based professionals, and presentations for parents and communities, ADAP delivers the core message that depression and bipolar disorder are treatable medical illnesses and that concerned individuals should seek help. Through this work, ADAP aims to increase awareness and decrease stigma about mood disorders in young people while stressing the need for evaluation and treatment.   

The mission of ADAP is to make the curriculum available nationally for school-based professionals to incorporate into their classes.

ADAP: Adolescent Depression Awareness Program

This video explains the mission and programs offered by the Johns Hopkins Adolescent Depression and Awareness Program.


  • To educate students, parents, and teachers about depression and bipolar disorder
  • To measure the impact of the program on knowledge and attitudes about depression


Depression affects approximately 5% of today’s teenagers. Of these, a mere 30% receive any sort of intervention or treatment, even though studies show depression can be effectively treated in adolescents. The impact of adolescent depression in teenagers has been found to significantly increase the risk of:

  • Major depression and anxiety disorders
  • Nicotine dependence, alcohol dependence and abuse
  • Educational underachievement, unemployment, early parenthood
  • Suicide attempts and completed suicide

Suicide, the most serious risk of depression, is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. It is imperative that high school students, parents, and teachers understand the clear link between depression and suicide. Since depression is the primary cause of suicide, depression education can be effective suicide prevention.

Unfortunately, many high schools do not have a formal curriculum to address depression. Among schools that address depression in health classes, very few discuss depression as a medical illness. With an estimated 5% of adolescents having depression, this is one of the most common illnesses teenagers face. The high rate of suicide in depressed teenagers underscores the importance of all high school students receiving quality education about depression and learning that depression is a treatable medical illness.

More about ADAP

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