A vital sign is a measurement of a basic body function that is routinely monitored by a medical professional. To the five major vital signs, UT Southwestern researchers have added a sixth sign, one that is making an impact in North Texas.


The Need

Depression remains a major health problem.

One in six people will develop a mood disorder in their lifetime and globally more than 300 million suffer from depression and bipolar disorder. 

The average duration between experiencing symptoms and receiving a diagnosis is often 10 to 12 years. That delay is unimaginable for healthcare issues like heart disease or cancer, so why doesn’t a proactive approach exist for mood disorders? VitalSign6 is looking to change this statistic and improve early detection.

The Program

With generous community support, medical leaders in Dallas are building momentum in their effort to screen and effectively treat depression. 

The Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care (CDRC) at UT Southwestern, a nationally recognized center of excellence in the research and treatment of mood disorders, created VitalSign6, a user-friendly iPad app that enables community physicians to easily screen patients for depression. 

VitalSign6 gives medical providers the means to effectively diagnose and manage depression, with support from CDRC specialists.

The Impact


”VitalSign6 is changing the future of depression treatment.This program helps a broader group of providers in our community to identify depression early, intervene rapidly, reduce negative consequences and understand brain function – remission is the goal.”

Dr. Madhukar Trivedi Director, Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, UT Southwestern


The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

The Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care is just one part of the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern. We encourage you to learn more at odonnell.utsouthwestern.edu.

A new fundraising initiative, the Campaign for the Brain, is currently underway and chaired by Southwestern Medical Foundation Chairman Bob Rowling. The Foundation is a proud partner in this initiative that will enable UT Southwestern to take a major step forward toward global leadership in brain research and the treatment of brain illness.

To contribute to this worthy effort, please click the link below.

Give the Gift of Better Health