Why PATHway?

1 in 5 young people have at least one mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) disorder, including depression.

Nearly 50% of children with a MEB disorder also experience significant challenges with their social, mental, or emotional development, which is associated with poorer physical health.

Given the high rates of youth depression and the long-term effects associated with depression, efforts to prevent depressive disorders in adolescents will have valuable implications for population health.

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What is PATHway?

The PATHway study is a free, voluntary research program for teenagers who want to improve their mood and learn coping skills to manage difficult situations. Pioneered by leading universities, the PATHway research study will test how best to help teens build healthy lifestyles and prevent feeling down.

Am I eligible?

Is my teen eligible to participate in PATHway?

If all of the below statements describe your teen, GREAT NEWS, they may be eligible to participate in PATHway. Your teen...

  • Is between 13 and 18 years old.
  • Lives in the United States.
  • Reads and speaks English (it is ok if you as a parent or guardian do not).
  • Has access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone and the internet.
  • Has your permission (if under age 18) to participate.

See here to learn more about how to talk to your teen about getting help and here for information on speaking with your teen’s provider, counselor, or other mental health professional.

Get help here

Thinking of Participating? See what teens are saying about participating in CATCH-IT...

It was actually fairly simple [to participate]. I talked to [my doctor] about it. I made my account...and I did all the modules. I did try applying the things that were going on within the modules into my own life, because I’ve been going through a really rough time. Going through the modules and trying to use the stuff that is in the modules and applying it to real life actually helped.”

Teen Male Participant

Today, I had a lot of negative things happen to me. But, instead of dwelling on them, I listed the positive things that happened during the day and used the tools I learned to change my perspective on the day. These groups have been helping me slowly change my thinking

16-year-old Program Participant

Tracking my thoughts and feelings has really helped me see why I get sad or angry. It was really helpful in understanding why I get so down.

15-year-old Program Participant

What happens if my teen decides to participate?

If your teen is eligible and chooses to participate in the PATHway program, they will:

  • Take part in some or no modules of CATCH-IT (Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive behavioral & Interpersonal Training), an online depression prevention program that targets decreasing modifiable risk factors while enhancing protective factors in adolescents, and that includes a parent program. It has been shown to be safe, feasible, and effectiveness.
  • Receive a few calls from the research team to see how things are going in the program.
  • Complete four online surveys about participating in PATHway and your health.

See here to learn more about how to talk to your teen about PATHway.

Get help here

Remember that if your teen participates in PATHway...

  • They do not have to take any medications or talk about things they don’t want to.
  • They should always seek help from their doctor or other professional if you feel they may be getting depressed.
  • They can stop participating at any time if you or your teen decide it is not right for your family.
  • You do not have to pay anything.
  • You and your teen will be paid for your time.
  • We cannot promise any benefits to you by taking part in this research since success of the partial program is not known.

Contact Us to Learn More

To learn more about PATHway, email (pathwaystudy@uic.edu), call (844) 428-7878, or click below for a team member to contact you.

Contact Us