Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Deborah Kipps-Vaughan


Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting adolescents, and there is evidence suggesting that there are adolescents suffering from depression who are not receiving treatment (Mojtabai, Offson, & Han, 2016). The increasing presence of mental health professionals and mental health services in public schools is one solution to the treatment gap. However, less is known about adolescents’ understanding of depression and treatment options. The current study utilized an online survey to examine the mental health literacy of 38 ninth grade students. Results indicated that adolescents have a moderate ability to recognize and label depression from brief case vignettes, and differentiate depressed and non-depressed scenarios. Additionally, adolescents were more likely to suggest an informal or non-professional source of help to a depressed peer. Finally, adolescents demonstrated poor knowledge of some school-based mental health professionals, specifically school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers. Conclusions from this study may aid in improving mental health awareness education in public schools and demonstrate the need for increased visibility of school-based mental health professionals.