Supporting students’ mental health is a crucial part of education. As a school-based psychologist working alongside Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), you are instrumental in every child’s education. From identifying signs of depression to implementing interventions, there are several ways you help students receive the mental health support they need in the classroom.
Identifying Depression in the Classroom
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders diagnosed in children. According to the CDC, 4.4% of children aged 3 to 17 were diagnosed with depression between the years 2016 and 2019, and this percentage is increasing by the year.
While it is not uncommon for many students to experience feelings of sadness or loneliness, depression can affect a student’s ability to succeed academically, socially, and behaviorally. Students of color, students who identify as LGBTQ+, or students with disabilities are more likely to experience depression.
Identifying signs early ensures that the student receives the care and support he or she needs. In adolescents, depression can manifest as:
- Prolonged feelings of sadness or loneliness
- Moodiness or irritability
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Inconsistent sleep patterns
- Social withdrawal
As a school-based provider, recommending and conducting depression screenings can help identify depression within certain students.
How Can Schools Support Students with Depression?
The classroom can be an encouraging and therapeutic environment for students with depression to succeed in. Students with depression often struggle to communicate what they need or how they feel. By building a connected classroom community, students can form trusted relationships and bonds.
Students have numerous opportunities to connect and socialize in the classroom. Social growth is a huge part of education, and students with depression can especially benefit from strong social support.
School is also a great place for students with depression to practice positive coping strategies that will continue to play an important role throughout their lives. This may include asking for additional academic support or extending the due date for a certain project or classroom activity.
PTS Collaborates with Schools to Implement a Tiered Approach to Mental Health
At PTS, we work with the school to implement an MTSS approach to mental health within the classroom. For students with depression, we collaborate and develop the best approach from classroom-wide to small-group to individual therapy, to ensure that they have the tools they need to succeed.
In addition to uncovering the right support for each student, our MTSS approach helps our providers maintain a manageable caseload. By separating our services into three tiers, therapy interventions become accessible to the entire classroom.
We believe that crafting a therapeutic ecosystem within each classroom gives everyone, including students struggling with their mental health, a space to grow and succeed. As a school psychologist engaging with us, you’ll have the opportunity to work with school staff to help every child get the mental health support they need.
Apply as a School-Based Provider Today
With the right professional support, classroom-wide interventions, and mental health screenings, psychologists can help students with depression access their whole education. If you are interested in working alongside PTS as a school-based provider, you can view our current openings online and apply today.