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Volunteer for Research


We are currently actively recruiting for our Family Safety Net (FSN) Project.

FSN is a treatment research study at Drexel University for teens who are struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. There is no cost to participate, and participants are compensated for their time and reimbursed for travel.

Why be in a research study?

 Our program offers:

  • Immediate access to care
  • 16 weeks of treatment
  • A 24-hour crisis line
  • Highly trained therapists with small case loads
  • Follow-up for one year
  • Collaboration with current treatment providers
  • Facilitation of access to additional or extended services if needed
  • You can contribute to the pursuit of better, more effective treatment

Your adolescent may be eligible for this program if

  • He/she is between ages 12-18
  • He/she has at least moderate depression
  • He/she has thoughts of suicide


  • A parent or caretaker is willing to participate
  • Family members speak and read English
  • The family can travel to Drexel University
  • If the adolescent is on anti-depressant medication, he or she has been on it for at least six weeks

How do we know when a teen is at risk for depression or suicide?

Some symptoms of depression in teens can include:

  • Feeling depressed, down, sad or irritable
  • Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
  • Changes in sleeping/eating/energy patterns
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Expressing self-doubt and hopelessness

Teens at risk for suicide may:

  • Have thoughts about death or suicide
  • Make threats/efforts to kill or hurt themselves
  • Show risk-taking or self-destructive behavior
  • Make comments like: “I wish I was dead,” or “You would be better off if I was dead”

In the Family Safety Net project, patients receive one of two treatments:

  • Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT)
  • Family‐Enhanced Non‐Directive Supportive Therapy (FE‐NST)

Both treatments:

  • Have been empirically tested with teens who are suicidal
  • May reduce symptoms of depression and suicide
  • Include parents in the treatment
  • Are given by highly trained and experienced therapists

What’s Involved in the Study?

All participants will engage in assessments over the course of treatment. Neither you nor we get to choose which treatment you get. Participants are randomly assigned to either one or the other. Both are active treatments.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Jody Russon at 215.571.3406 (program call line).

Address: 3020 Market Street, Suite 510,
Philadelphia, PA 19104