The Weller Health Education Center is presenting the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP) to parents in the Carlisle Area School District on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00 in the Fowler Education Center LGI, 623 West Penn Street, Carlisle.The Weller Center will host this free workshop where parents explore the signs and symptoms of teenage depression and discuss resources in the community that can help families address this serious issue.
ADAP is an evidence-based curriculum designed to educate high school students, their teachers and parents about adolescent depression so that more teens suffering with depression get the treatment they need.
The ADAP program series began with a teacher in-service led by the Weller Center on February 16 where more than 120 teachers took part. In March and April, ninth grade students from the district participated in the three-session student program. During the program, students will learn that depression is a treatable medical illness. The program message is hopeful, emphasizing the importance of treatment and seeking help. The presentations feature lecture and discussion, DVD clips and interactive group activities designed to teach students about this illness as well as how, when and where to seek help for themselves or a friend.
Major depression is the leading undiagnosed illness among teens, affecting five percent of American teenagers. Of these, only 30 percent will receive any intervention or treatment. The effects of teen depression are far reaching. Teens suffering with depression are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, experience early pregnancy and struggle academically. The stigma of mental illness often keeps teens from reaching out for help.
Suicide, the most serious risk of depression, is the third leading cause of death among high school students. It is critical that students, parents and teachers understand the link between depression and suicide, learn to identify symptoms of depression and recognize it as a treatable illness.
The media is invited and encouraged to attend the parent program on April 18.
ADAP was developed in 1999 by Dr. Karen Swartz, Clinical Programs Director at the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, in response to three student suicides in the Baltimore area. Since its inception, more than 20,000 students have participated in the program. Health educators from the Weller Center have been specially trained to deliver the program. Pre- and post-program tests associated with the curriculum show that students’ knowledge about depression (including their understanding of how, when and where to seek help for themselves or a friend) triples from pre- to post-test. The programs at Carlisle Area School District are funded through a grant from Capital BlueCross.