Issue #7 - Fall 2018
Depression Grand Challenge Newsletter

The Depression Grand Challenge is working to cut the burden of depression in half by 2050 and eliminate it by the end of the century. At its core, the Depression Grand Challenge is driven by UCLA's conviction that new approaches are needed to prevent, diagnose, and treat depression. As newsletter subscribers know, we have organized our approach to this effort into four components - 100K Study, Innovative Treatment Network, Discovery Neuroscience, and Awareness and Hope. This newsletter highlights the Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression (STAND) program, which is an integral part of the Innovative Treatment Network component. 

A key component of the Depression Grand Challenge is the Innovative Treatment Network (ITN). The ITN is designed to identify and deliver personalized and appropriate treatment for people suffering from depression and/or anxiety. When students who take the Mental Health Tracker are found to be requiring services for being depressed or at risk for depression they are routed for such services through the ITN, with either online therapy or in-person therapy. Thus, the study that accompanies the Mental Health Tracker is validating both the survey and this more scalable model of treatment.
STAND for Students   

Beginning in 2017, UCLA rolled out a student survey and treatment program. This program was refined and rebranded as "STAND" over the summer of 2018. Through the DGC's STAND program, UCLA students have access to the Mental Health Tracker (formerly the Check In Survey), a 5-10 minute survey that assesses whether students are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, providing that feedback in real time. After viewing this personalized feedback, students are routed for the appropriate level of care given their results.

Since offering this service, more than 5,000 students have participated in the program, with more than 800 of them enrolling in a treatment study. The DGC is on the front lines of students' mental health at UCLA, offering a free service to address the large demand for mental health resources on campus. The Mental Health Tracker and other features of the STAND program are available to all UCLA students, at all times, on all devices.
Mental Health Tracker Triages for Tiered Treatment 

The Mental Health Tracker serves to route participants to tiers of treatment dependent on the severity of their symptoms. The graphic below depicts the three levels of care. These tiers are dynamic, and students fluidly move between the levels of treatment as their symptoms change ensuring that students have prompt access to the most appropriate level of care, given their symptoms.
STAND Program Aspirations 

An immediate goal of the DGC is to have 20,000 (~50%) students access the Mental Health Tracker. It is also a priority to further develop the treatment technologies and platforms to create an even more personalized experience for the user. Currently the platform provides general cognitive behavioral therapy. The goal for the future is to provide a suite of options for the participants to choose specific therapies (i.e.: sleep, diet, exercise, etc.). By creating programs that target specific symptoms or needs of the individual, the personal relevance of the online therapy program will be increased. There is a passive monitoring app in development as well that will analyze behavioral features such as sleep and social interaction to better understand symptoms and modes of treatment as appropriate for applicable symptoms.
SPARK Campaign: STAND with the Depression Grand Challenge 

On November 8, 2018, UCLA kicked off a crowdfunding campaign in support of the Depression Grand Challenge's Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression (STAND) program. The campaign is active through January 1, 2019 and has a goal of raising $25,000. Depression touches each of us - either personally or through the experiences of family members, friends, and colleagues. Donations received via the crowdfunding campaign will make a measurable difference in the lives of UCLA students. The platform offers tiered giving options. 
Learn more and make a donation of any size at  If you have any questions, please contact Dorin Esfahani at
Upcoming Events

When:  Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 8:00 AM-11:30 AM

For more information, please contact  Jillian Flannery or (310) 267-5573
Recent News:

To read the latest updates about the Depression Grand Challenge between newsletters, please visit our  happenings page . A few recent features are linked below: