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In Living Color: Depression Treatment in Primary Care

Depression is a highly common health condition affecting nearly 20 million Americans, Caucasian population and racial/ethnic minorities alike. For many patients, if they receive treatment for depression at all, it is most likely to occur in the primary care setting.

In Living Color: Depression Treatment in Primary Care is a three hour education course designed to equip physicians practicing in primary care settings with the knowledge and tools to identify and provide appropriate treatment of depression to medically underserved ethnic and racial groups. The course is facilitated by a team consisting of a consumer, a family member, and a physician.

This program, developed in partnership with the American Psychiatric Association (APA), aims to create awareness of cultural influences and how depression manifests within a cultural context as well as model successful communication and partnership between providers and patients of different cultures.

Key Topics

  • Recognizing and treating depression in racial and ethnic minorities
  • Overcoming challenges in diagnosis and treating depression in racial and ethnic groups
  • Communication and person-centered, culturally competent care

Target Audience

Primary care physicians, general practitioners, family physicians, geriatric physicians, OB/GYNs, internists, pediatricians


Click here to view a printable one page description of In Living Color: Depression Treatment in Primary Care

Project History:

Implementation Grants

NAMI National has selected four NAMI State Office and Affiliate sites to roll out the In Living Color: Depression Treatment in Primary Care education program. The grant program will provide invaluable feedback and evaluation data to NAMI National for consideration before making the program widely available.

Program updates and information gathered from these grant sites will be shared on this site and through Recovery for All, the e-newsletter of the Multicultural Action Center.

In Living Color: Depression Treatment in Primary Care Featured in NAMI Multicultural Action Center Newsletter

Follow the development of curriculum (formerly called the NAMI-APA Collaborative) with the first program announcement featured in the September 2006 issue, the follow-up article in December 2007, and in the announcement of the program completion in the December 2008 issue of Recovery for All.

Program Pilots

In fall of 2007 three sites were chosen to pilot  the draft curriculum. Pilot facilitators gathered
for an all-day training in Los Angeles and pilots began shortly after in New Orleans, St. Louis
and Los Angeles. The curriculum was revised based on evaluation data obtained through the pilot programs. Feedback from the pilot participants was very encouraging:

  • 86% of participants rated the content of the course as excellent or good and 14% rated
    the content as fair or poor
  • 95% of participants rated their change in knowledge of recognizing, diagnosing and
    treating depression as moderately or highly improved.


Participants of the St. Louis program pilot,
held October 19, 2007 at Grace Hill Primary Care Clinic.

Initiative Featured at NAMI 2007 Convention in San Diego

In a workshop entitled, "Eliminating Disparities in Depression Care for Racial/Ethnic Communities: An APA-NAMI Collaborative," program authors, Annelle Primm, M.D., Majose Carrasco, M.P.A., Alison Bondurant, and Marin Swesey, B.A., provided an overview of plans for the curriculum and sought feedback from the audience.  Click here to view the powerpoint presentation.