The study of ketamine for youth depression (SKY-D) trial

The study of ketamine for youth depression (SKY-D) trial

  1. Our current treatments for depression in young people are not always effective, and we need to find treatments that are both effective and that work more quickly.
  2. Over the past 10 years researchers have been examining the anti-depressant effects of ketamine. Some of these studies have shown that ketamine can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression, even among people who have not improved with other treatments. However, these studies have all been undertaken in adults.
  3. This study will examine whether ketamine is an effective treatment for young people with moderate to severe depression.


Study participants must*:

  • Be aged between 16 and 25
  • Be currently undergoing treatment for depression
  • Be able to attend on an outpatient basis weekly for four weeks, and then attend further follow-up sessions

*Other inclusion and exclusion criteria apply, which will be advised upon contact.

This is a double-blind randomised controlled trial of a new treatment for moderate to severe depression. Study participants will receive either ketamine or a therapeutically inactive treatment.


Young people must be referred into this study by their treating doctor.

Clinicians seeking more information on the study should email:

Melbourne site:

Sydney site:

Sunshine Coast site:

This study has been approved by Melbourne Health HREC (HREC/42984/MH-2018.142).