Why Path 2 Purpose?

Prevalence of Depression in Teens
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.

Gaps in Knowledge
There are currently no strategies to deliver evidence-based depression prevention approaches to the teen population.

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What is Path 2 Purpose?

Study Design

PATH 2 Purpose (P2P) is a two-arm comparative effectiveness research trial that will evaluate the ability of the interventions, TEAMS and CATCH-IT, to intervene early to prevent depressive illness, accessibility, time commitment, cultural acceptability, and implementation costs.

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. Efficacy has been demonstrated by several trials 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 at-risk adolescents, and that includes a parent program. It has been shown to be safe, feasible, and efficacious.

564 participants eligible for the study will be offered one of two different depression prevention programs in multiple sites in Illinois, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. The study will also assess teens’, parents’ and providers’ experiences with each intervention approach.

To read the full study protocol, click here, and a summary abstract, click here.


Eligible - Adolescents ages 13-19 years, all genders, English speaking (it is ok if their parent or guardian are non-English speaking), and have elevated symptoms of depression, or depression and anxiety, as indicated by PHQ-9 score. Recruitment sites will be diverse in socio-economic status and racial/ethnic representation.

Ineligible - Adolescents who are currently experiencing psychosis or extreme substance abuse, or read below a fifth grade level. Teens will be screened for participation at the recruitment site and/or can contact the study call center directly.

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

My teen patients who are enrolled in P2P have found that they have changed and improved the way they process stressors. They have learned about coping mechanisms and over time have felt that their moods have improved as well.

Adolescent Medicine Provider

I have found as a general pediatrician that the PHQ-9 has been invaluable to me in helping to recognize which of my teen patients need more assistance than I have been able to tell during my routine questions at the physical exam. When the questions are posed in a survey form and have a rating scale it helps both of us get a better picture of how they are feeling. If they do qualify for the study, it gives me something of quality and of no expense that I can offer them.

Pediatric Medicine Provider

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.

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