November 2021 IMPACT Newsletter

Depression Awareness & Positive Intention

Depression in Children and Teens

Everyone experiences sadness or moments of feeling down, including children and teenagers. It is part of normal development and part of just being human. However when the sadness is persistent and produces symptoms that interfere with daily living, it may be time to seek professional help. Depression in children and teens is real and can affect thoughts, behaviors and self-esteem. Studies have shown that at least 5% or 1 in 20 children will struggle with depression before reaching 18 years of age (

Mental health is physical health, so beginning with a primary caregiver can be a good start. For more information about childhood depression see the article below by the National Alliance for Mental Health.

Signs of Depression

Depression in a child or teen looks much like depression in adults. Like most illnesses, it can be very individualized based on experiences or life events. This may include:

  • changes in sleep-increased sleep, decreased sleep or problems getting to sleep
  • changes in appetite-increases or reductions in appetite or changes in body weight
  • lack of energy
  • difficulty paying attention or focusing- changes in concentration
  • lack of interest in activities or events that they used to enjoy
  • negative thoughts or feelings especially in self concept
  • feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • changes in behavior-acting out, angry outbursts or tantrums

If you have concerns, be sure to reach out to a professional. By communicating clearly with your child, taking a thoughtful approach, and remaining flexible among options to pursue, depression can be easily managed. Below is an article by ChildMind Institute on what parents need to know when seeking help for treatment of depression.

Big picture

Positive Intention

We often get overwhelmed because we are taking on too much on our "to do" list and too little on the activities that truly strengthen us and build resilience. In order for our children to have good coping skills, we must model and practice these ourselves with positive intention.

Ten Ways to Develop Positive Intentions

  1. Cultivate Relationships
  2. Rest- Good Sleep is key to a Regulated Body
  3. Spend Time in Nature
  4. Daily Gratitude
  5. Laugh More
  6. Hydrate- Drink Plenty of Water
  7. Start a Morning Meditation
  8. Practice Forgiveness
  9. Move Your Body- Go on a Walk, or Find a Workout You Like
  10. Ask for Help- it's a strength, not a weakness

In order to see a change in our children, we must first see other's strengths and value. When we begin to verbalize positive strengths and make that our focus, our children will then begin to feel more acceptance and hope. We are all human, and making mistakes and becoming frustrated is part of life, so practice grace, not only with others, but also with yourself. Speak positive words intentionally and regularly to your child and you will see the benefits.

A Very Happy Brain

Needing More Resources?

Please reach out to your school counselor or a member of our MISD IMPACT Team if you need more community resources or information. IMPACT means Individuals Maximizing Positive Advocacy for Children and Teens.

McKinney Boyd High School IMPACT Counselors

Travis Trayler. MS. LPC

Christyna Skidmore, MS, LPC, NCC

McKinney High School IMPACT Counselors

Jill Lueke, M.Ed, LPC-Associate

Lori Mitchell, MS

McKinney North High School IMPACT Counselors

Deidre Williams, M.Ed LPC-S

Mariana Gonzalez, MS, LPC