Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

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Adolescents, Depression Prevention, Schools, Screening Tools, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Pamela Aselton PhD, FNP

DNP Project Chair

Pamela Aselton PhD, FNP

DNP Project Member Name

Gabrielle Abelard DNP, PMHNP

DNP Project Outside Member Name

Gabrielle Abelard DNP, PMHNP



Background: The prevalence of depression in the adolescent population is on the rise. Currently, treatment for depression is provided mostly in clinical settings, when patients are in the acute phase of the mental illness. This type of treatment does not have preventative value to address this pandemic of depression. Prevention methods in the school settings have proven to be effective if done using evidence based guidelines.

Methods: This educational intervention used the Adolescent Depression Prevention Toolkit, which included screening tools and preventative methods of therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A questionnaire of knowledge surrounding these methods was given before and after the intervention to assess the usefulness of the intervention.

Results/Outcomes: A total of 24 school staff, mainly educators and counselors in a private school in New York, participated in the intervention. The pre-test revealed only five 5% had prior knowledge about screening methods for depression or were trained in CBT. The post-test showed 95% were interested in learning more about the screening tools and CBT and an increase in their knowledge and willingness to use the information provided in the toolkit.

Conclusion : School based mental health professionals may use the resources in the ADP Toolkit to train teachers about methods to identify and prevent depression with interventions based on CBT methods. The school based mental health providers are in the best position to guide and support school staff in using the ADP methods which may reduce the prevalence of depression in the their adolescent population.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.