for males (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion



This study is a single-arm, non-randomized pilot study. Eligible participants are newly enrolled participants in an outpatient methamphetamine treatment program, and study activities will take place contemporaneously with participation in the service program. During the first two weeks of the treatment program, participants will be offered the chance to enroll in a low-intensity, internet-based depression intervention called MoodGym. Participants that agree to enroll will be offered the chance to attend up to seven MoodGym sessions at the same time they undergo outpatient methamphetamine treatment. It is hypothesized that sexual risk outcomes, as well as medication adherence (e.g., PrEP/PEP; ART) outcomes will be optimized for participants who enroll to receive the MoodGym intervention content.

Official Title

Brief Depression Intervention to Optimize Intensive Outpatient Methamphetamine Treatment Among Gay and Bisexual Men Who Have Sex With Men


Participants will be recruited from the Getting Off service program at Friends Community Center. Program participants will be invited to participate in the study at the time that they enroll in the program, and may enroll in the study at any time during their first or second week of program participation. Getting Off program staff will inform new participants about the research study. If the potential participant is interested in learning more about the study he will be directed to meet with the Study Counselor. Both the program staff and the SC will emphasize that participation in this study is voluntary and that participation in the program is not dependent on participation in this study. Interested participants will meet with the in a private room, then read the consent form, have questions answered by the, and sign the consent form if they wish to participate.

All in-person contact (recruitment, screening, consenting, MoodGym sessions, and administration of follow-up interviews) with participants will take place in a private room with a closed door at Friends Community Center. Any telephone calls made to participants during the course of the study will be made from a private office with a closed door, so the phone conversation cannot be heard.

MoodGym is an Internet-based CBT program that uses fun, engaging, interactive content, alongside character-driven narratives, to help alleviate symptoms of depression and comorbid anxiety. The program also aims to improve the individual's functioning by promoting the development of skills and strategies to manage depression.

MoodGym consists of an introduction module, five structured intervention modules, and a workbook of assessments.

  1. Getting Started
  2. An introduction to MoodGym, including CBT, the different characters and structure of the intervention content, and baseline mental health quizzes (e.g., depression, anxiety) that are scored in real time to help the participant understand their current level of mental health symptoms. This will be done during the first MoodGym session, given its brevity and relationship to the first module.
  3. Feelings Module
  4. Understanding emotions, mood, and physical reactions of depression and anxiety, as well as the impact of your perspective on your personal feelings. Demonstrates links between events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  5. Thoughts Module
  6. Addresses unwelcome, unhealthy, or intrusive thoughts, and demonstrates how some thoughts can help you overcome mental health symptoms. Discusses how to improve self-esteem by changing thought patterns.
  7. Unwarping Module
  8. Introduces the idea of "warpy" thoughts, including false impressions that one must be perfect, that one can control all things, or that one is worthless if they are criticized.
  9. Destressing Module
  10. Discusses means and strategies to reduce stress, which can have important impacts on depression and anxiety symptoms, and mental health more generally.
  11. Relationships Module
  12. Discusses how relationships can both benefit or worsen one's mental health, and how to monitor and maintain healthy relationships.
  13. Workbook a. Contains all quizzes and tests the participant encounters during each of the above sessions. If a participant would like to retest themselves on some dimension (e.g., depression, anxiety, warpy thoughts), they can revisit the assessment in the Workbook section, and receive an updated score in real time.

Each MoodGym session will last up to one hour and will begin with the brief CESD-R assessment, administered by the Study Counselor via the same computer as the MoodGym intervention, followed by one of the five online modules, which are self-contained and guide the participant through all intervention content. Online modules include quizzes, videos, characters, interactive activities, informational content, personal stories, workbook activities, and content summaries. Sessions can also include interactions with the Study Counselor, as much or as little as the participant chooses to initiate, including supportive feedback, guidance, help, and encouragement on activities.

The SC will monitor participant attendance and conduct a phone call to any participant who does not attend a session for two consecutive weeks.

Participants will be assessed one final time, receiving both the ART and PrEP Uptake and Adherence form and the CESD-R, at 90 days post-enrollment.


HIV/AIDS Methamphetamine Abuse Depression MSM PrEP ART Sexual Risk Behavior Depressive Disorder Methamphetamine MoodGym


You can join if…

Open to males

  • Currently enrolled within the "Getting Off" (AKA, "Friends Getting Off") outpatient methamphetamine treatment program at Friends Community Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • and; within two weeks of initial enrollment into the "Getting Off" program.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Not currently enrolled within the "Getting Off" program.
  • or; more than two weeks post-enrollment in the "Getting Off" program.


  • Friends Community Center accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90028 United States


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Friends Research Institute, Inc.
MoodGym Intervention
Getting Off Treatment Manual
Study Type
Last Updated