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Depression Grand Challenge

Basic Information about Depression in the Social Sciences

Social scientists study the interplay among social and cultural, economic, historical and political forces that shape the experiences of illness, including mental health and illness.

At UCLA, there are several centers and interdisciplinary programs for scholars with an interest in exploring these topics. A few examples:


The UCLA Library, along with other libraries in the UC system, provides access to many books on the social aspects of depression. When searching UC Library Search, you can use subject headings to narrow your search. Subject headings function like hashtags--for example, every book on women's experience of depression is tagged "depression in women."

Below are a few examples of subject headings about the social aspects of depression. To learn more about working with subject headings, see this video tutorial (subject headings start at 1:58) or ask a librarian for help. 


Depression and Social Justice

Below are journal articles, websites, and other resources exploring the connections between mental health and social justice.

Sample searches in UC Library Search (Articles, books and more):

  • Keyword: Depression Racism
  • Keyword: Depression Sexism
  • Keyword: Depression Poverty
  • Keyword: Depression Sexuality

Other keywords might include "mental health," "mental illness," "ableism," "white supremacy," "homophobia," etc.--try mixing and matching according to what you need to find.

Data and Statistics

Social Media

Social scientists might study media efforts designed to overcome the stigma of mental illness and depression. There are many examples on Twitter: