Break Free from Depression is a curriculum developed at Boston Children’s Hospital that was created to increase awareness around Depression. This curriculum was designed to increase adolescents’ awareness about depression, teach them how to recognize it in themselves and in their friends, and give them strategies for finding help. The 4-session curriculum for high school students features a compelling documentary that focuses on a diverse group of adolescents talking about their struggles with depression and suicide. We learn of their symptoms, the course of their illness, and the methods that they use for coping through their own words.
Watch the trailer from the Break Free from Depression documentary:
Module 1 focuses on psycho-education and opportunities for discussion about depression. It has information on the myths and facts about depression and suicide awareness. It also addresses the stigma around mental health.
Module 2 is centered on watching the documentary and a short de-briefing activity.
Module 3 is more activity based providing an in depth debrief of the documentary by having students work in small groups discussing case studies based on students featured in the documentary. It also includes the warning signs of suicide. It concludes with as class discussion using true/false questions based on issues raised in the documentary.
Module 4 uses the information learned throughout the curriculum to generate discussion and ideas for coping skills, how to ask for help for themselves, approaching a friend that they are concerned about and identifying trusted adults. There are opportunities for role plays, read alouds, and practicing coping skills.
Contact the Break Free from Depression Team: