School-Based Depression Prevention Programs Overview

Group of high school students in the classroom

 

Do school-based depression prevention

programs support youth?

 

Commissioned by the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavior Health, this review examines research on the effects of school-based depression prevention programs. We specifically reviewed evidence on programs delivered directly to K-12 students during the school day.

 

 

 

Technical Resources

For technical components of this report, please visit the project site on the Open Science Framework.

Some sections require a free OSF login to access.

Interactive Data Dashboard: Studies of School-Based Depression Prevention Programs

 

female teacher sitting at desk with student

Learn more about the programs

For more information on the programs included in the review and their characteristics (e.g., cost, student age, curriculum goals), visit our Program Profiles supplement. 

See the Programs

Do School-Based Programs Work for Preventing Youth Depression?

33%
On average, students in depression prevention programs had a 33% reduced risk of depression and a slight reduction in symptoms compared to students in control groups.
 

Will these programs work at my school?

83%
Estimated probability that your students' average risk of depression will improve after program implementation
70%
Estimated probability that your students' average symptoms will improve after program implementation

Assuming your school and students are similar to those in the review, you are more likely than not to benefit from implementing a program. However, we cannot guarantee that it will work. Future research is needed to better understand which students and schools benefit the most from which programs.