Preventing depression in teens can help them avoid social dysfunction, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, suicide, and mental health conditions in adulthood. A study recently published in the online Journal of Medical Internet Research tested whether a ”depression prevention intervention for adolescents” delivered via texting could help. This double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in high schools in Auckland, New Zealand, from June 2009 through April 2011 using 855 students ranging in age from 13 – 17. Results from follow-up questionnaires showed that participants in the intervention group were more successful and remaining positive and getting rid of negative thoughts than the control group. Changes in clinician-based depression scores of participants are yet to be completed, but if similar in effectiveness, this could provide parents, schools and mental health professionals a new tool for combating teenage depression.
Would you sign up for such a program? What ways has texting and communicating with others electronically provided you with support to get through rough times? Tell us about it!