Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Program May Be Beneficial

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Improved knowledge and attitudes towards depression are higher among high school students who have a peer-to-peer depression awareness program.
Improved knowledge and attitudes towards depression are higher among high school students who have a peer-to-peer depression awareness program.

HealthDay News — A peer-to-peer depression awareness program is associated with improved knowledge and attitudes about depression among high school students, according to a study published online in Psychiatric Services.

Sagar V. Parikh, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues trained 121 students at 10 high schools to develop and implement peer-to-peer depression awareness campaigns. A total of 878 students at the schools completed questionnaires before and after implementation of the campaigns.

The researchers found that after implementation of the campaigns, students had improved knowledge and attitudes toward depression, increased confidence in identifying and referring peers with depression, improved help-seeking intentions, and reduced stigma.

"The peer-to-peer program increased depression literacy through the use of youth-designed and youth-implemented depression awareness and outreach activities, which may ultimately result in earlier detection of depression and in fewer depression sequelae," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Reference

Parikh SV, Taubman DS, Antoun C, et al. The Michigan peer-to-peer depression awareness program: school-based prevention to address depression among teens [published online March 1, 2018]. Psychiatr Serv. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201700101



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