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Water Ripples


TIDE (Treatment Interrupts Depression Early) is a project run at Nova Scotia Health in partnership with the IWK. The principal investigator (lead psychiatrist) is

Dr. Rudolf Uher

Why is there a need for TIDE?

Depression often affects young people. In fact, the most common age of onset for depression is between the ages of 12 and 25. When someone experiences depression, they need effective treatment. For a young person experiencing depression, getting effective treatment is not straightforward. There are numerous medications and talking therapies available, but no single treatment works for everyone. If that first treatment is effective, it's possible to have a fast recovery and to stay well afterwards, but if the first attempt at treatment isn't the right one for that person, it can lead to frustration and hopelessness. Getting effective treatment the first time someone experiences depression might be especially important to reduce the chances of experiencing symptoms of depression again in the future.

While lots of research on depression exists, there is relatively little that focuses on young people in their first episode of depression. Depression in youth can present and feel differently from depression in adults. This is also a critical timepoint for many reasons, as important decisions are being made and life events occurring at this stage. Successful intervention for depression can be instrumental in a person's life. To figure out what will be a successful intervention, further research that is focused on this population is necessary.


What is the aim of TIDE?

TIDE aims to find out which treatment works for whom. For a young person experiencing depression for the first time, who needs antidepressant medication, and who does well with psychological treatment alone? What factors can be used to predict this? TIDE is the first project to attempt to determine which factors can help predict the success of different initial treatment plans for young people who are experiencing depression for the first time. If clinicians are able to predict treatment response for someone in their first episode of depression and provide that person with the treatment most likely to work for them, this could vastly improve their quality of life for years to come. 

What does participation involve?

Interested participants will first be assessed to see if this project might be a good fit for them (see Who is eligible? below). Likely-eligible candidates will be asked to come in for a screening visit which will involve an assessment with a study clincian.


Following the screening visit, participants found eligible will receive best-evidence antidepressant or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT-ADM) treatment for 16 weeks, with follow up assessments occurring every two weeks during that time. Depending on the outcome of the initial treatment period, additional treatment options will be available. Follow up assessments will vary in length and include clinical visits, self-report questionnaires, interviews, brain imaging, blood work and physical activity tracking. Some visits may be conducted remotely, but a minimum of two visits will be held in person at the DCRP in Halifax (in the Abbie J Lane building of the QEII, 5909 Veterans' Memorial Lane). Interested participants from outside the HRM should contact the DCRP for information on travel accommodations.

Who is eligible?

This study is recruiting people ages 12 to 25 in Nova Scotia who are currently experiencing depression for the first time, and who are not already receiving treatment for it. Individuals who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding will not be eligible. Certain additional criteria must be met, which will be assessed during a pre-screening conversation and at the screening visit.


How do I get in touch?

If you are interested in participating in TIDE or would like to find out more, you can get in touch with the DCRP via our contact form, by phone (902 473 5313) or email ( To chat with us, you can send us a message on Facebook Messenger.


We also welcome referrals from GPs and community health services. Our referral form for use by healthcare professionals can be found here. You do not need to have a GP to be considered for this project.

TIDE is funded by the Hewitt Foundation and the Medavie Health Foundation.

DCRP personnel for TIDE

Nicole Stinson, Project Coordinator

(902) 473 5313


Jessica Toombs, Research Assistant

(902) 473 5313


Rudolf Uher, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator

(902) 473 2585

Additional resources

You can read more about this project at the links below: (NCT05002309)

Nova Studies Connect 

TIDE website

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