Adolescence is a period in which people can be more deeply affected by stressful situations or events. These events could bring on the symptoms of depression. In fact, 17% of adolescents will become depressed – a statistic almost twice as high as for the general population.

“At the Standard Life Centre, we work with our teenage patients to establish which existing treatments are most effective for treating depression,” says Dr. Johanne Renaud, the Director of the Standard Life Centre for Breakthroughs in Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention and the Standard Life Senior Fellow in Teen Mental Health.

The research of Dr. Renaud and her colleagues aims to prevent depression and suicide in youth.

The Work of the Standard Life Centre

The evolution of depressive symptoms is not the same in all adolescents and there exist large differences in the persistence of symptoms, the number of relapses, the nature of remission, etc.

The Centre’s first study hopes to identify factors that can predict a major depressive episode in adolescents.

This study involves youth aged 11 to 17 who will be followed at the Douglas for a period of five years. Dr. Renaud and her colleagues will observe exactly how depressive symptoms evolve in adolescents.

They are looking to better understand the basic mechanisms of depression. Better knowledge of the signs of depression will allow us to intervene early in order to offer adolescents appropriate care.

Reducing delay in recovery is critical for youth because longer untreated illness means missing out on achieving academic, professional, and personal goals. If they fail during these years to build strong relationships and prepare for their life’s work, they might never recoup the loss.

Standard Life has made a generous one million dollar donation to support this Centre. The Foundation is very grateful to Standard Life for investing in young healthy minds.