Why Path 2 Purpose?

1 in 5 young people have at least one mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) disorder, including depression.

Nearly 50% of children with a MEB disorder also experience significant challenges with their social, mental, or emotional development, which is associated with poorer physical health.

Given the high rates of youth depression and the long-term effects associated with depression, efforts to prevent depressive disorders in adolescents will have valuable implications for population health.

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What is Path 2 Purpose?

PATH 2 Purpose (P2P) is a free, voluntary virtual research study for teens (13 – 19 years old) who want to improve their mood and learn how to manage difficult feelings and situations. Developed by mental health professionals, P2P aims to assess how best to help teens like you build healthy habits and prevent feeling down.

Am I eligible?

Is my teen eligible to participate in P2P?

If all of the below statements describe your teen, GREAT NEWS, they may be eligible to participate in P2P. Your teen...

  • Is between 13 and 19 years old.
  • Lives in Illinois, Kentucky, or Massachusetts.
  • Reads and speaks English (it is ok if you as a parent or guardian do not).
  • Has access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone and the internet.
  • Has your permission (if under age 18) to participate.

See here to learn more about how to talk to your teen about getting mental health support.

Get help here

Thinking of Participating? See what teens are saying about participating in P2P...

It was actually fairly simple [to participate]. I talked to [my doctor] about it. I made my account...and I did all the modules. I did try applying the things that were going on within the modules into my own life, because I’ve been going through a really rough time. Going through the modules and trying to use the stuff that is in the modules and applying it to real life actually helped.”

Teen Male Participant

Today, I had a lot of negative things happen to me. But, instead of dwelling on them, I listed the positive things that happened during the day and used the tools I learned to change my perspective on the day. These groups have been helping me slowly change my thinking

16-year-old Program Participant

Tracking my thoughts and feelings has really helped me see why I get sad or angry. It was really helpful in understanding why I get so down.

15-year-old Program Participant

What happens if my teen decides to participate?

If your teen is eligible and chooses to participate in the P2P program, they will:

  • Take part in one of two different programs (TEAMS or CATCH-IT) that will teach them coping skills (like how to manage conflicts with friends and family) and to reduce stress (like how to handle negative thoughts or plan for major life changes).
    • TEAMS: Teens Achieving Mastery over Stress (TEAMS) is an 8-session group depression prevention program teaching teens how to deal with stress and negative moods, and ways to manage low mood based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and strategies. TEAMS has been found to prevent depression in youth through several studies over time.
    • CATCH-IT: Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive-behavioral & Interpersonal Training (CATCH-IT) is an internet-based depression prevention program that targets decreasing modifiable risk factors while enhancing protective factors in adolescents, and that includes a parent program.  It has been shown to be safe, feasible, and effectiveness.
  • Receive a few calls from the research team to see how things are going in the program.
  • Complete a couple of surveys about participating in P2P and their health.

See here to learn more about how to talk to your teen about Path 2 Purpose.

Get help here

Remember that if your teen participates in P2P...

  • They do not have to take any medications or talk about things they don’t want to.
  • They should always seek help from their doctor or other professional if you feel they may be getting depressed.They can stop participating at any time if you or your teen decide it is not right for your family.
  • You do not have to pay anything.
  • You and your teen will be paid for your time.

Contact Us to Learn More

To learn more about P2P, email (path2purpose@uic.edu), call [1-877-268-PATH (7284)], or click below for a team member to contact you.

Contact Us