Depression, the cause of more than two-thirds of reported suicides in the United States, is an epidemic affecting millions of teenagers. According to the 2015 Health and Risk Behaviors of Massachusetts Youth, 27 percent of high school students experienced depression symptoms. While mental health care is generally difficult to access, teens from low-income families face additional challenges in receiving education, treatment, and support related to mood disorders; these challenges include fewer choices for local and culturally appropriate care, limited school resources for student mental health, and stymied parental involvement. Depressed teens who communicate their feelings to and receive support from their parents are more likely to understand and accept treatment. Without parental support, teens with a mood disorder can remain undiagnosed, under- or poorly treated, and at higher risk for suicide.
Building on the successful foundation that we established in Tier I, our Tier II efforts focus on gaining additional input from a broader swath of patients, parents, providers, and other stakeholders. Through expanded partnerships and significant engagement beyond our advisory council, we’ll gather input to determine the most appropriate comparative effectiveness research question to get to the heart of the issue: Which specific intervention works best to maximize parental involvement in the treatment of low-income teens diagnosed with a mood disorder?
*All proposed projects, including requested budgets and project periods, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract.