Depression Council

This Depression Counseling introductory course provides a fundation of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to develop psychological treatments for patients with moderately severe to severe depression, which can be scaled up in routine health care settings. All parts of this training are free, including registration, learning, testing, and a certificate of completion. This course is intended for primary-care physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals in training and practice.

This Depression Counseling course is based on the Healthy Activity Program (HAP) manual, it was developed in partnership with the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease and the PREMIUM program funded by the Wellcome Trust, in association with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineSangath organization, and the Government of Goa’s Directorate of Health Services. The course was developed by Arpita Anand, Sona Dimidjian, and Vikram Patel; additional contributions were made by Angela Leocata, Sydney Church, Luanna Fernandes, Ajay Kumar, Akila Kalsur, Ankita Khanna, Medha Upadhye, and Dielle Dsouza. The authors of the manual are Arpita Anand, Neerja Chowdhary, Sona Dimidjian, and Vikram Patel.

For a publication on this course’s efficacy, see “The Healthy Activity Program (HAP), A Lay Counsellor-Delivered Brief Psychological Treatment for Severe Depression, in Primary Care in India: A Randomised Controlled Trial,” (2017), The Lancet,; see also “Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning,” (2018), Open Praxis,; to see more research related to’s educational model, check out’s publication page.

There are 12 modules which provide:

  • An overview of important concepts in counseling for depression, 
  • Skills to identify patients with depression,
  • Techniques of behavioral activation for treating depression, 
  • Strategies in dealing with problems that may be experienced by people with depression.

At the end of each lesson, there is a practice quiz. At the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and activity, you’ll have access to a final exam, and a chance to assess the training. Once you’ve passed that last test, you will be able to download a certificate of completion from and our course’s co-sponsoring organizations (listed above). We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request. We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

Engaging with this Course

You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment; there are no requirements.

To obtain a certificate
  • Show in the registration fields that you have the appropriate prerequisites to be certified. This course requires the learner to have already obtained a college-level degree. 
  • Complete all the reading requirements.
  • Complete all quizzes and pass with a 70% with unlimited attempts.
  • Successfully complete the final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts.
  • Complete the self and course evaluation forms.
To obtain credit 
  • Complete all requirements listed above for the certificate. 
  • Your learning institution or workplace should approve the partner-university-sponsored course for educational credit, as they would for their learner taking a course anywhere.  
    • is happy to provide your institution with:
      • a link to and description of the course training, so they can see all its components, including the cosponsoring universities and other professional organization cosponsors; 
      • your grade on the final exam;
      • your work products (e.g. peer and mentored activities), and any other required or optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them;  
      • your evaluations – course, and self-assessments;
      • a copy of your certificate of completion, with the co-sponsoring universities and other organizations listed.

To obtain a degree co-sponsored with, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with contact us.

We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

Next Steps

  • Complete the registration form.
  • Begin the course with Module 1: Depression – An Introduction. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and any required activity, and take the corresponding quizzes.