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The Government Spends 147K to Text Depressed People

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The federal government is spending $146,944 in taxpayer funds to send automated text messages to people with depression to remind them to take their medication and monitor their mood and thoughts.

The text messages will “prompt patients to monitor mood, thoughts and behaviors.” It will also “provide medication and appointment reminders,” and send personalized cognitive behavioral therapy based tips.

“The proposed research project will test whether adding an automated SMS adjunct to group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression can increase adherence (homework adherence, attendance, medication adherence) and further reduce depression symptoms,” it added.

The $146,944 grant given to the University of California Berkeley is made up of $136,059 in direct cost and $10,885 in indirect costs and is administered by the National Institute of Mental Health.

The project starts on May 23, 2012 and ends on Feb. 28, 2017. The budget start date was March 1, 2013, and the budget end date is Feb. 28, 2014.

Phone calls to project leader Adrian Aguilera, assistant professor for the School of Social Welfare/Work at UC Berkeley, were not returned by press time.

Read more at CNS News

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  • Robert S Moulds

    I’m all for suicide prevention but given their is a sequester the federal government does not have the money and should not fund it. Telecommunication companies or charities go pick up the cost as good P&R.

  • Jim Mc

    You know the only time the U.S Government texts depressed people is when they’re trying to hire more suicide bombers!