ComBAT stands for Community-based Behavioural Activation Training for Depression in Adolescents. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), ComBAT is a 5-year research programme that will develop, implement and evaluate Behavioural Activation (BA), a brief psychological therapy, for young people aged 12-18 years with mild to moderate depression.
Why are we doing this research?
In the UK, nearly a quarter of all adolescent girls and one in ten adolescent boys report depressive symptoms. It is important to provide timely support to young people who experience mild to moderate symptoms of depression.
Currently many young people in the UK do not have access to timely and evidence-based psychological interventions. This is either because they do not meet the high threshold for entry to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), or because the majority of professionals who engage and support adolescents in the community (schools, social care, charities) do not have the specialist skills to deliver clinically-informed interventions.
How do we hope ComBAT can help?
Behavioural Activation (BA) is already evidenced as an effective intervention for adults and a promising intervention for children and adolescents, when it is delivered by mental health specialists. As part of ComBAT, we will adapt BA so that it can be supported by a wider group of professionals in schools and other community settings, such as young people’s charities, youth justice services and social care. ComBAT will evaluate the benefits, acceptability and value for money of BA compared to usual care.