Columbia University Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
June 3, 2009

Depression is one of the dark demons of adolescence. Up to 1 in 12 American teenagers is affected, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and three times as many will experience depression at some point by age 18. Studies show that at least 20% of teenagers with clinical depression will go on to develop chronic cases that will haunt them throughout adulthood. That is, if they reach adulthood. Suicide is a significant risk for depressed adolescents and the third leading cause of deaths among U.S. teenagers. <br><br>

It's no wonder, then, that researchers are beginning to focus on preventing teenage depression in the first place. A new study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the largest to date showing that a relatively modest intervention goes a long way to prevent episodes of depression in high-risk teens. The authors hope it will provide a model that could used widely in schools to protect kids from depression...

Because it focuses on prevention, the JAMA stu<br><br>dy "really moves the field forward," says child psychologist Anne Marie Albano, who directs the Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center.

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