Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2021

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Melissa Bogle, DNP, FNP-BC, ACNP-BC


community college, depression, mental illness, patient health questionnaire, PHQ-2, screening


Depression is a serious and disabling mental health problem impacting nearly 265 million people worldwide. Approximately 17.3 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older suffered at least one major depressive episode in the last year. Of those afflicted, individuals 18-25 years of age had the highest prevalence of depression. Undiagnosed or untreated depression can lead to long-term disability or suicide which is the 2nd leading cause of death for 10–34-year-old persons. Early recognition of depressive symptoms can improve long-term outcomes of individuals by enhanced connection to mental health services. The overall goal of this project was to improve depression awareness and understanding in a community college setting using mental health education and the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-2). An online live educational presentation about depression and the PHQ-2 screening tool was provided to invited faculty and staff of a small central Illinois community college. A short survey of questions was administered to show baseline knowledge and personal feelings prior to the educational presentation. After completing the educational presentation, a follow-up survey of questions using the same format was given to evaluate changes in depression knowledge and screening tool application to the practice setting. Results showed an overall increase in knowledge about depression which included a positive increase in faculty and staff ability to recognize depressive symptoms. More than half of the participants indicated the PHQ-2 was a useful tool that could be used with community college students. Shortly after the online educational presentation, a college committee was formed to develop and implement professional development education for faculty and staff on mental illness including recognition of symptoms and resource referral. Although there was no commitment from the college to implement use of the PHQ-2 tool in student interactions, project sustainability was shown through commitment to continued education to promote awareness of depression and other mental illnesses.

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