Teacher Mental Health Literacy is Associated with Student Literacy in the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program

Leslie Miller, Rashelle Musci, Douglas D’Agati, Clarissa Alfes, Mary Beth Beaudry, Karen Swartz, Holly Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Adolescent Depression Awareness Program, developed by psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is a depression literacy program delivered to high school students by teachers. This mode of delivery represents an effective and sustainable way to increase awareness of mental health, reduce stigma, improve early detection, and facilitate help-seeking behavior among adolescents. The present study explores the depression literacy and stigma of teachers and their students. Survey responses of 66 teachers and 6679 high school students about depression literacy and stigma pre- and post-education intervention were analyzed using a multilevel model fit in Mplus. Teacher depression literacy was significantly associated with student depression literacy [β = 0.199, SE = 0.095, p = 0.035, 95% CI (0.044, 0.355)] at the post-assessment, but was not associated with student stigma. Teacher stigma was not significantly related to student depression literacy or stigma in the post-assessment. These findings highlight the importance of optimizing teacher depression literacy in order to maximize student depression literacy while also diminishing concerns about the transmission of stigmatized beliefs from teachers to students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Mental health literacy
  • School-based program
  • Stigma
  • Universal depression education program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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