The NIMH Depression Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment Program: structure, aims, and scientific basis

Am J Psychiatry. 1988 Nov;145(11):1351-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.145.11.1351.


Unrecognized, untreated, and undertreated depressive disorders extract an inordinate human and economic cost, despite the availability of an extensive array of effective clinical interventions. To enhance the availability and quality of care, the National Institute of Mental Health launched the Depression Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment Program, a multiphase information and education program designed to alert health professionals and the general public to the fact that depressive disorders are common, serious, and treatable. The authors review the development of this program, describing the professional education efforts it supports in anticipation of increased demand for services, the public education campaign launched in May 1988, and highlights of the scientific advances that make the program feasible and timely.

MeSH terms

  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Information Systems
  • National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.)*
  • Psychiatry / education
  • United States
  • United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration*