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From grassroots to policy

From grassroots to policy

Sample Answer 

From grassroots to policy

Depressed Adolescents

One of the notably vulnerable populations in my practice is depressed adolescents. Although depression is prevalent in the general population, the outcomes of the illness among adolescents may be significantly worse. Depressed adolescents are at a greater risk of poor outcomes such as severe depression and suicidality because of limited access to mental health services. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 70% of adolescents who develop depression have severe impairment in core areas of functioning, such as socialization and academic performance. In addition, only 40% of them are enrolled in treatment services (NIMH). Increasing the identification of depressed adolescents may positively transform this trend.

One practice that contributes significantly to the vulnerability of depressed adolescents is their negative and stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs about depression. Many adolescents have a personal or perceived stigma towards the illness (Singh et al., 2019). Imaginably, this attitude reduces the likelihood of seeking help. Additionally, they are more likely to conceal their experiences with depression. Furthermore, many adolescents have simplistic views towards the condition, such as the belief that one could simply stop being depressed if they wished (Singh et al., 2019). Adolescents are unlikely to seek help for depression from formal sources such as mental health providers.

In an advanced nursing role, I would encourage universal screening for depression among adolescents in primary care facilities in my locality by educating other health providers about adolescent depression, unique vulnerabilities, and adolescent health behaviors. Screening for depression during regular health assessments would enhance the identification of adolescents who are depressed, followed by enrolment in appropriate treatment services (Lu, 2019). At the state level, I would advocate for the enactment of legislation to encourage mandatory screening for depression in every primary care facility. At the national level, I would lead campaigns to increase funding for research in universal screening for depression in the adolescent population, in order to generate new evidence to improve models for enhancing the identification of these vulnerable individuals.


Lu, W. (2019). Adolescent depression: national trends, risk factors, and healthcare disparities. American journal of health behavior43(1), 181-194.

National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Major Depression.

Singh, S., Zaki, R. A., & Farid, N. D. N. (2019). A systematic review of depression literacy: knowledge, help-seeking and stigmatizing attitudes among adolescents. Journal of Adolescence74, 154-172.


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From grassroots to policy

Discussion Prompt
Select and describe the key characteristics of one vulnerable population from your practice or locale and discuss why this population is considered vulnerable. Include one or two health practices and beliefs of the chosen population that increases the vulnerability of the population. Describe how you, in an advanced nursing role, could be an advocate for this vulnerable population at the local, state or national level.

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From grassroots to policy

From grassroots to policy

  • Length: A minimum of 250 words, not including references
  • Citations: At least one high-level scholarly reference in APA from within the last 5 years

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