Real Teenagers Talking about Depression: A Video-Based Study Guide


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Program/Practice,Video/Audio Recording
Erika's Lighthouse

Real Teenagers Talking about Depression: A Video-Based Study is available at no charge at the Erika’s Lighthouse website:

Developed by Erika’s Lighthouse, Real Teenagers Talking about Depression: A Video-Based Study Guide is a 1-hour universal intervention for middleschool and high-school classrooms that focuses on depression education. The purpose of the video and study guide is to increase student knowledge about depression, reduce stigma surrounding depression and increase the likelihood that students with depression will receive help. In addition to the video and study guide, there are a number of optional exercises, including understanding depression, the science of the brain and depression, exploring stigma, how to help a friend, coping with stress and resiliency, and bullying and depression. The study guide was developed by the board and staff of Erika’s Lighthouse that includes mental health professionals and was reviewed by the Erika’s Lighthouse board, mental health professionals and educators.

Program content is based on research that shows that: depression is common among adolescents; it is a major risk factor for youth suicide; it is a diagnosable mental disorder with specific symptoms; it is treatable and friends are often the first to know about a friend’s depression. 

Program Objectives

Students who view the video and receive the accompanying lesson will have increased understanding of:

  1. Depression and its symptoms.
  2. Warning signs of suicide.
  3. Stigma and how it affects help-seeking behavior.
  4. Effective treatments for depression.
  5. How to get help for themselves or their friends.

Implementation Essentials

  • Schools that use Real Teenagers Talking about Adolescent Depression should have established protocols for addressing students who may be at risk for suicide. School administrators, faculty, and staff should be aware of the protocols.
  • Real Teenagers Talking about Adolescent Depression is most effective when used as part of school’s larger strategic plan to promote student wellbeing and safety.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 7.1: Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.