A Psychoeducational, Youth-Nominated Model for Treating Severely Depressed and Suicidal Adolescents
From childhood to adolescence, youth undergo a variety of changes that can create difficulties for adolescents and make them vulnerable to mood disorders, particularly depression and suicide. Adolescent depression is the most common psychiatric problem faced by adolescents today. Because depression and suicide are so prevalent in adolescents, researchers examined a variety of treatments that include CognitiveBehavioral Therapy (CBT), anti-depressant therapy, family/group therapy, or a combination of treatments. In addition, school systems have implemented programs to identify at-risk youth. However, even when identified, suicidal adolescents often do not comply with treatment due to poor family relationships and parental psychopathology. As a result, psychoeducational models that improve communication among family and knowledge about disorders emerged; however, many parents still disregard treatments, leaving adolescents with no support. Current research includes 532 suicidal adolescents assigned to Treatment-As-Usual (TAU) plus a youth-nominated psychoeducational model or TAU alo~e. The model provides adolescents with other support persons because peers and adults outside of the immediate family can reduce suicidal factors and potentially improve treatment compliance. Researchers hypothesized that adolescents in the intervention group will have greater reductions in suicidal ideation, less internalized behavior problems, and improved adaptive functioning in the future.