by Nadja Reilly, Ph.D, Associate Director, Freedman Center for Child and Family Development, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

What is Depression?

It is normal to feel “sad” or “blue” at times. Depression is different from these temporary feelings. Depression is a biological illness that presents with sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, low energy, changes in sleep and appetite, and sometimes thoughts of suicide.

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Resource Organizations » Depression

23 listing(s), including 2 with hotlines and 1 offering support groups

In Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Center for Effective Child Therapy at Judge Baker
53 Parker Hill Avenue
Roxbury, MA  02120
Child at-risk hotline: 617-232-4882
Founded in 1917, Judge Baker Children's Center is a Harvard Medical School affiliate dedicated to improving the lives of children whose mental health problems threaten to limit their potential. Integrating education, service, research, and training, the Center is the oldest child mental health organization in New England and a national leader in the field of children's mental health.

Crisis Text Line
Text LISTEN: 741-741
Crisis Text Line serves young people in any type of crisis, providing them access to free, 24/7, emotional support and information they need via the medium they already use and trust: text. Just text "LISTEN" to 741-741. Here's how it works:
---A teen texts into CTL anywhere, anytime.
---A live, trained specialist receives the text and responds quickly.
---The specialist helps the teen stay safe and healthy with effective, secure counseling and referrals through text message using CTL's platform.
CTL partners with existing organizations that are experienced, highly trained, and well-equipped to respond to teens in crisis: experienced crisis centers, youth-serving organizations, and experts in the youth and mental health fields. CTL also lists resources on a variety of topics with helplines or email addresses where they can learn about additional support.

Organizations without hotlines

Adolescent Wellness, Inc.
103 Old Colony Road
Wellesley Hills, MA  02481
Adolescent Wellness, a non-profit 501c-3 organization, was founded to simplify prevention of depression and suicide in adolescents. A primary activity is creating awareness of prevention resources from McLean Hospital and Children's Hospital Boston, which are available to every school with any grade 7-12, including universal preventive intervention curricula. The newest work is in teen leadership programming on resilience and referral through supportive key adults.

Berkshire Coalition for SUICIDE PREVENTION

Our mission is to save lives. Together we can build resilience in our community, educate the public and strengthen the response to community need. The Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention was formed to address the higher than state average rates for self-harm and suicide here in Berkshire County. The mission of BCSP is to save lives. Together we can build resilience in our community, educate the public, and strengthen the response to community need. Please see our News and Events Pages for more information about our organization.
Who We Are: Volunteers from the health sector and law enforcement, educators and students, community organizers, social workers, mental health providers, policy makers, survivors of suicide loss and concerned citizens
What We Do To Help: EDUCATE about risk factors for suicide & self harm. ASSIST populations identified as being at-risk. REDUCE stigma and break barriers to self-help. PARTNER with schools, agencies, and providers. SECURE funding from public and private sources. ADVOCATE for public policy issues & budgets.
Holds public education series focusing on at risk populations for suicide on the third Wednesday of month, from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. At the Brien Center @ 333 East St. 1st floor conference room. For more information go to

Depression Bipolar Support Alliance of Boston (DBSA-Boston)
Offers support group(s)
P.O. Box 102
115 Mill Street
Belmont, MA  02478
617-855-2795 x phone
617-855-3666 x fax
DBSA-Boston (formerly known as MDDA-Boston) is a resource for people with affective disorders - and their families and friends. Affective disorders such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and clinical depression affect millions of people every year. Coping with these disorders is difficult enough, but coping alone can be even tougher.
DBSA-Boston (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance) is a nonprofit, self-help organization run by and for people with affective disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. DBSA members come together to share support and information with others in similar situations.


E-couch is an Australian self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalized anxiety & worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss & grief.
It provides evidence-based information and teaches strategies drawn from cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal therapies as well as relaxation and physical activity.

Experience Journal
Children's Hospital Boston
The Experience Journals are designed to promote the healthy coping of children and their families who must contend with significant physical and emotional illnesses. The Experience Journals are collections of stories, pictures, and personal experiences from families about what it has been like to live with their children's illnesses. They represent the "collective wisdom" of these children and their parents as well as their health care providers.

Families for Depression Awareness
395 Totten Pond Road
Suite 404
Waltham, MA  02451
FAX: 781-890-2411
Families for Depression Awareness is a national nonprofit organization helping families recognize and cope with depressive disorders to get people well and prevent suicides. The site includes information from families and professionals about their experiences with depression as well as a section specifically focused on children and teens.

Gould Farm
100 Gould Rd.
Monterey, MA  01245
Gould Farm is the first residential therapeutic community in the nation dedicated to helping adults with mental illness move toward recovery, health and greater independence through community living, meaningful work and individual clinical care.
In a supportive community environment made up of residents, staff and their families, we help adults with depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia begin to rebuild and regain their lives. Gould Farm offers a full continuum of care, with a Boston-area program for those ready for new challenges and structured transition.

McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web

John is an award-winning mental health journalist and author. He has dedicated the last 13 years of his life to researching and writing on depression and bipolar disorder for people like yourself - patients and loved ones. He knows where you are coming from. He is also a patient, as well as a loved one.
Here, you will find nearly 250 articles (plus videos) that will give you greater insight into your thoughts and feelings and behaviors and help you make your own choices in getting well and staying well. Thanks for stopping by. Jump in wherever you like ...

Mood Gym

MoodGYM is an Australian website with an interactive program designed to help you:
* Identify whether you are having problems with emotions like anxiety and depression,
* Learn skills that can help you cope with these emotions.
MoodGYM is based on two programs which are successful in preventing and treating depression and anxiety. These are: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy.
MoodGYM is designed to be used by people who would like to prevent mental health problems or manage problems which are troubling but not incapacitating. MoodGYM is not specifically designed for use by people with clinical levels of depression or anxiety. MoodGYM suggests that those with depression scores above 2-3 seek contact with a health professional.

Needham Coalition for Suicide Prevention

(Needham only )
c/o Needham Community Council
51 Lincoln Street
Needham, MA  02492
The Needham Coalition for Suicide Prevention was organized in 2006 as a community response to the deaths by suicide of four young people over the previous eighteen-month period. It is a broad-based coalition reaching out to the town's diverse constituencies across the age continuum. NEEDHAM ACTS is the Coalition's website. It offers information for all ages on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and connect with a variety of local services to prevent suicide.

Needham Health Department

(Needham only )
1471 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA  02492
781-455-7500 x 511
The Needham Health Department offers a range of mental health services for citizens of the town. Public Health Nurses provide confidential counseling and referrals to all ages. Short-term home-based services for at-risk teenagers and their families are provided through Riverside Community Care's Alternative Youth Services program. The program includes family counseling, advocacy, information, and referral. Call the Health Department for more information on these free services. The town's Substance Abuse Prevention and Education program provides informational programs, educational resources, and confidential substance abuse support services for Needham youth, adults, and seniors. Contact Carol Read at the Health Department to find out more about inpatient and outpatient treatment, individual and group counseling, and peer support resources regarding substance abuse, addiction and chemical dependency.

Needham Youth Services

(Needham only )
1471 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA  02492
This is a town-funded department which provides professional and confidential mental health services to youth and their families in Needham. It offers support, information, and direction on issues such as peer relationships, stress, grief and loss, substance use, suicide, and other concerns. Most services are free of charge. The department collaborates regularly with civic and community organizations on a variety of projects.

School Psychiatry Program and MADI Resource Center
50 Saniford Street
Boston, MA  02114
For Children and Adolescents: 617-726-2725
For Adults: 617-724-7792 is a joint project of the School Psychiatry Program and the Mood & Anxiety Disorders Institute (MADI) Resource Center, both of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). is committed to enhancing the education and mental health of every student in every school. The Mood & Anxiety Disorders Institute (MADI) Resource Center translates the latest research advances into practical information, helping people work with their clinicians toward the most accurate diagnosis and best possible treatment results. The Center also offers resources and support to help people manage daily living with mood and anxiety disorders and cope with the disorders' effects on family relationships.

Swensrud Depression Prevention Initiative
Department of Psychiatry/CHNP or Swensrud Initiative
300 Longwood Avenue - 120BK-LL
Boston, MA  02110
FAX: 617-730-0271
The Swensrud Depression Prevention Initiative at Children's Hospital Boston is working to prevent and treat depression in school-aged children and train educators and parents about mental health issues.
The Initiative: teaches children and teens how to identify depression and promote overall mental health; trains educators and parents how to recognize the signs of depression and other mental health problems; and creates innovative tools for the prevention of mental illness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness
529 Main Street, Suite 1M17
Charlestown, MA  02129
Toll Free: 800-370-9085
Fax: 617-580-8673
The National Alliance on Mental Illness maintains a helpline for information on mental illnesses and referrals to local groups. The local self-help groups have support and advocacy components and offer education and information about community services for families and individuals. For information about the Alliance's affiliates and activities in MA, contact NAMI Massachusetts.

Outside Massachusetts

Authentic Happiness

Authentic Happiness is the homepage of Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of positive psychology, a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.Positive psychology theory and research has been applied across many domains, from education to health to neuroscience. Now on Authentic Happiness you can read overviews of some of the largest initiatives currently underway, including: positive health, positive education, comprehensive soldier fitness, positive psychotherapy, and positive neuroscience.

Blue Pages

BluePages provides information on treatments for depression based on the latest scientific evidence
BluePages also offers screening tests for depression and anxiety, a depression search engine, and links to other helpful resources.

Freedom From Fear
308 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY  10305
718-351-1717 x19
Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association. The mission of FFF is to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support. The website provides information on anxiety and depression along with self-screening tools for these conditions, referrals for support groups and mental health professionals, and resources on accessing treatment for those with and without health insurance.

Man Therapy
Denver, CO  80002
Working aged men (25-54 years old) account for the largest number of suicide deaths in Colorado. Part of a multi-agency effort, including the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Carson J Spencer Foundation and Cactus, Man Therapy is giving men a resource they desperately need. A resource to help them understand the realities of suicide and mental health, in the hopes of helping put a stop to the suicide deaths of so many of our men. This interactive website featuring "Dr. Rich Mahogany" provides psychoeducational information geared towards men about stress, anger, depression, substance abuse and suicide, as well as tools to manage these concerns. It also includes an "18 point head inspection" where men can take a survey about how they are coping, and there is a provider search screen with options from groups and active activities to lists of professional counselors.

The Balanced Mind Foundation
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance ATTN: Balanced Mind
730 N. Franklin Street Suite 501
Chicago, IL  60661
The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek. The Balanced Mind Foundation envisions a world where children living with mood disorders thrive because their families have the resources, community and support they need.

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
90 Park Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY  10016
Main Line: 646-681-4888
Toll Free: 800-829-8289
The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The BBR Foundation offers news on the research it funds as well as information (documents and videos) about these and other disorders in children and adults. It also provides guidance and resources for families coping with a child or parent with mental illness.

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Additional Sources of Information


Major Depression in Children and Adolescents, from SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center.

For Parents

For Children and Teens

Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.