Tool Kit Helps Providers Treat Patients with Depression

U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Thome
U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Thome

Tool Kit Helps Providers Treat Patients with Depression

by: Corina Notyce | .
DCoE Strategic Communications | .
published: July 24, 2012

Many service members and veterans experiencing symptoms of depression will receive most or all of their care through their primary care physician. If you’re a primary care provider and unfamiliar with the “Major Depressive Disorder Toolkit,” it’s important you download it or request a hard copy today.

Developed by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), U.S. Army Medical Command and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the tool kit provides clear, comprehensive descriptions of critical decision points that help providers screen for major depressive disorder (MDD). The tool kit guides diagnosis, management of symptoms and referral of patients to mental health specialists.

This all-encompassing, user-friendly guidance tool features evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and recommendations from the Defense Department and VA. The guidelines cover all aspects of care for MDD from screening and assessment to follow-up and monitoring. The tool kit also includes a variety of reliable tools, questions and simple reference material for providers, patients and their families. It can be used in its entirety or in sections depending on patient needs.

To further assist providers using the tool kit, DCoE created the Major Depressive Disorder Toolkit: Key Concepts for Primary Providers, which offers brief background information on the clinical practice guidelines for MDD and an overview of how the materials included in the tool kit can be used to efficiently diagnose, assess and treat depression. A training manual for instructors educating mental health professionals on MDD and a one-pager for quick reference to treatments for MDD are also available.

Benefits of using these tools include decreased practice variation, effective decision-making and improved patient outcomes.

To download a copy of the “Major Depressive Disorder Toolkit” or to order a hard copy, visit For more clinical resources related to psychological health or traumatic brain injury prevention and care, visit the Health Professionals and Resources sections of the DCoE website.

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