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Break Free from Depression Program | Overview

Break Free from Depression is a project within the Boston Children's Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships Program (BCHNP) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Boston Children's Hospital.

Our curriculum

Break Free from Depression (BFFD) is a four-module curriculum focused on increasing awareness about adolescent depression and designed for use in high school classrooms. The goals are 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. This curriculum is now available online (more information is below). Included in the materials are step-by-step directions, handouts, resources, and all of the presentations for the student curriculum, parent workshop, and staff development workshop.


Break Free from Depression also features a compelling documentary (trailer above) that focuses on a diverse group of adolescents talking about their struggles with depression and suicide. We learn about their symptoms, how their lives were impacted, and the methods they used for coping with depression through their own words. They are not actors, and the documentary is not scripted. We chose this storytelling technique so that youth are able to learn about symptoms and recognize their impact through their peers’ own words. The documentary also addresses hope. The adolescents in the film do not only share their distress, but also ways they found help and relief, and the skills they have learned to manage depression.

Online training

Break Free from Depression, in partnership with OPENPediatrics, has developed a series of training videos to share the BFFD train-the-trainer workshop and materials with educators and school communities nationally.

All of our curriculum’s four modules are presented in this video series. They focus on how educators can facilitate the Break Free from Depression program in their school or community program to help increase awareness about adolescent depression among high school students. After viewing the videos and completing the post survey, you will have access to all of the online materials so you can implement the Break Free from Depression curriculum in your school or community program.

This online training is part of the Training and Access Project (TAP) Online series, which provides free online courses for educators and school communities everywhere.

You will be prompted to sign up to OPENPediatrics and asked to fill a brief registration form before accessing the free content. After this one-time registration, you will be able to access all of our courses, including Break Free from Depression.

If you would like more information about the Break Free from Depression train-the-trainer video series, please contact us.