Delving Deeper into Depression: An Examination of Pre-Service Teachers' Understanding of Depression, and the Implications for Policy Recommendations
Depression presents itself as a daunting opponent capable of impacting mood, interpersonal relationships, and professional/academic performance (NIMH, n.d.). Unfortunately, depression among individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 has risen at a startling rate (Families for Depression Awareness, n.d.). Teachers, however, hold an advantageous position when it comes to student depression intervention. The purpose of this study is to gather baseline data of pre-service teachers' knowledge about various aspects of depression and determine, in the participants' opinion, what teachers' roles in supporting students displaying signs of depression should be. Seven focus groups were interviewed and the Depression Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) (Gabriel & Violato, 2009) was administered to 109 pre-service teachers in teacher preparation programs. Overall, participants believed that teachers should be responsible for students' well-being and thus should be active in supporting them. However, both MCQ scores and participants' comments in the focus groups revealed that more training for pre-service teachers on this topic is necessary.