Objective: To determine the state of mental health problems among a general youth population and assess whether the Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) intervention can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Methods: We implemented YAM with a cluster quasi-experimental study design from August 2017 through June 2019 in 29 middle schools and high schools in North Texas. Students completed the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, Adolescent version; the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screener; and additional substance use questionnaires before YAM delivery and 3-6 months after implementation. Multilevel models, with students nested within schools, were used to model difference scores of depression and anxiety, controlling for various student-level and school-level characteristics. Missing data were imputed during analysis. Sensitivity analyses were performed on non-imputed data. Results: Among 3, 302 adolescents at pre-test, 27% had moderate-to-severe depression, 22% had moderate-to-severe anxiety, and 4% expressed suicidal ideation. We found that on average, compared to those who had no depression at pre-test, depression decreased at post-test by (a) 4.62 units (P < .05) for those who had severe to very severe depression at pre-test, (b) 2.92 units (P < .0001) for those who had moderate depression at pre-test, and (c) 1.5 units (P < .001) for those who had mild depression at pre-test, controlling for all other factors in the model. Similar significant decreases were observed in anxiety, controlling for student-level characteristics. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of YAM in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety among adolescents in North Texas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health