Depression Tool Kit
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Lesson 1 | Enrichment Activities

What is Depression?

"Teachers: Nikki neuron reminds you to check the standards tables in the front of the toolkit to see which ones apply for this lesson and your subject area."

Creative Expression Exercise:
The “Whys” of Depression

Student Objectives:

  • Become familiar with symptoms of depression.
  • Become familiar with the major types of depression.
  • Increase awareness of their emotions and the impact of depression on their lives and society.
  • Evaluate stress and depression from a sociological perspective by identifying the impact of various factors such as poverty, consumer-oriented value system, gender roles, alienation and isolation, discrimination, stigma and racism.
  • Analyze ways to relieve stress and depression, especially for subgroups at a greater risk for depression.
  • Examine their biases toward mental illness/depression. Estimated Time: One 50-minute class period.


  • Create a bulletin board display of students’ work that explores the experience of depression on the individual level (signs and symptoms of depression) and how that relates to society. The work should express students’ thoughts and feelings about stress and depression, the reasons for its high prevalence in our society, the social costs and what can be done to relieve those problems – for individual sufferers and society as a whole. Students will do the projects as homework.
  • Class time will afford an opportunity for students to share their work. Assure the students that all the works will be respected as a contribution to the collaborative effort.

Additional Activities

  1. Have students write a response to the prompt, “Describe several reasons why a person who is depressed should seek help. How important do you feel this would be compared to other issues in one’s life?”
  2. Divide the class into groups. Assign test items to each of the groups, which will be responsible for researching the answers and gathering interesting information related to the items. Findings will be presented to the entire class. As reference, students will use the student handout and each group will receive a copy of the teacher’s guide. Encourage Internet research.
  3. Learn about famous people with depression at:

Learn more about depression and its social costs by doing an Internet search for“depression costs” or go to

Sponsored by the UAMS College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry’s Partners in Behavioral Health Sciences program which is made possible by support from a Science Education Partnership Award (R25 RR15976) from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.University of Arkansas, Board of Trustees © 2002. All rights reserved. 1-12