More Than Sad: Teen Depression


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


Program/Practice,Video/Audio Recording
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

The More Than Sad: Teen Depression DVD is part of a two-DVD set that can be purchased from the AFSP store for $59.95. Visit the More Than Sad page to download the Facilitator Guide and other materials.


See This Resource

Developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), More Than Sad: Teen Depression is an original 26-minute film developed for high school-aged audiences. The film features vignettes of four teen characters whose depression manifests in different ways. Each of the characters is referred to treatment in a different manner—by a parent, by self-referral, by a school counselor, and by a physician. Scenes portraying interactions with mental health professionals are included to demystify treatment. Key messages of the film include:

  • Depression is a common problem that can interfere with teens’ ability to function well in school, enjoy hobbies or activities, or interact effectively with friends or family members.
  • Depression is an illness, not a character weakness or something that people bring on themselves.
  • Depression may develop after a particularly upsetting event or situation, but also develops in young people who may not seem to have any reason to be depressed.
  • Depression usually doesn’t go away on its own and if left untreated may lead to serious consequences, including suicide.
  • Effective treatments for depression are available.

The facilitator materials are downloadable from the AFSP website and include a detailed Facilitator’s Guide that outlines recommendations for showing the film in classrooms or other small group settings, frequently asked questions, and a suggested lesson plan with discussion questions. Other materials include a depression resource list for teens, facts about depression in teens, a short quiz (for evaluating students’ knowledge before and after the presentation), a model school policy, and a postvention toolkit.

Program Objectives

After viewing the film, teens should:

  1. Be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in themselves or their friends.
  2. Understand that depression is a medical illness for which effective treatment exists.
  3. Be more willing to seek help if depressed and encourage depressed friends to seek help.

Implementation Essentials

  • Teachers and others who show More Than Sad: Teen Depression should first carefully prepare by reviewing the Facilitator’s Guide and other materials and should follow the outlined recommendations for delivering the program.
  • In particular, teachers should become familiar with their school’s crisis management plan and procedures for referring students for mental health evaluation.

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.