Working With Children With Depression – 2024 Summer Course Group 3

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    Participant Evaluation Form for Summer Courses
    This form must be completed by each participant and returned to the course tutor

    You may remain anonymous, but using an X, please state whether you are:

    Primary x Post primary

    Title of Course Working With Children With Depression – 2023 Summer Course Group 3

    Course Provider Child Psychology Institute
    Date 17h August 2023

    Please record the extent to which you agree with the following statements:

    1. I achieved the stated learning outcomes of this course

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    2. This course was professionally enabling and relevant to the work of schools.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    3. This course has improved my teaching or leadership skills.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    4. The tutor ably led the learning and ensured there were good levels of engagement.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    5. The tutor provided me with appropriate feedback on my assignments/activities and tasks.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    6. The course was well structured and effectively managed.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    7. This course made meaningful links with school self-evaluation and Information and communications technology.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    8. This course was of good quality.

    Strongly agree Agree Don’t know Disagree Strongly disagree

    Any further suggestions to improve the quality of this course:

    1. I thought the course was informative and very well done. The tutor was very easy to listen to and explained things very well. The information was interesting and applicable not only in the educational field but to life in general. Thank you.

  2. DP Video 1 A

    Baseline Assessment:
    1) What is your understanding of depression?
    2) In your opinion, what kind of children are most likely to experience depression?
    3) How do you think they can be supported?

    According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
    More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it.
    Symptoms of Depression include both psychological and physical symptoms such as
    • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
    • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
    • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
    • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
    • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
    • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
    • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
    • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
    • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
    • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
    Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.
    In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
    Things that increase the risk of depression in children include:
    family difficulties
    physical, emotional or sexual abuse
    a family history of depression or other mental health problems
    Sometimes depression is triggered by a difficult event, such as parents separating, a bereavement or problems with school or other children.
    Often it’s caused by a mixture of things. For example, a child may have a tendency to get depression and also have experienced some difficult life events.
    According to , ways to support children with depression include Depression can be treated and there are things you can do to help your child feel better:
    • Find out what’s happening
    • Listen carefully to what they say about how they feel — without judgment or advice.
    • Never push your child to share, instead, encourage other forms of creative expression like painting, crafts or journaling their thoughts.
    • Ask people who know the child (like a favourite teacher or close friend), if they’ve noticed anything that might be worrying about your child.
    • Help the child stay engaged throughout the day, with structure and an exciting routine that has a mix of activities — including fun, leisure, play, learning, daily chores and time for family, sleeping and rest.
    • Teach the child relaxation exercises, like deep breathing, and practice them together.
    • Encourage positive habits: Help child stick to regular eating and sleeping habits and stay active. Physical activity and music are both great ways to boost their mood.
    • Protect them from stressful surroundings: Try to keep the child away from situations where they may experience excessive stress, maltreatment or violence.
    • Create an environment of positivity and warmth at home to help the child feel relaxed and supported. Reassure your child as often as possible: Ask how they are doing and encourage them to come to you whenever they are upset. Let them know that you will do your best to help them.
    • Spend quality time with them
    • Take care of caregiver: the caregiver cannot pour from an empty cup.

    Video 1B

    All behaviour dysregulation stems from emotional dysregulation.

    Video 1C

    Module 2
    Think of a child-Female
    How did depression present itself?
    The child presented with most of the following
    • Feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable a lot of the time
    • Not wanting to do or enjoy doing fun things
    • Showing changes in eating patterns – eating a lot more or a lot less than usual
    • Showing changes in sleep patterns – sleeping a lot more or a lot less than normal
    • Showing changes in energy – being tired and sluggish or tense and restless a lot of the time
    • Having a hard time paying attention
    • Feeling worthless, useless, or guilty
    • Showing self-injury and self-destructive behaviour

    How the child communicated their needs through their behaviours?
    • excessive crying,
    • tearfulness and
    • hopelessness.
    • Children can show increasing levels of anxiety and appear to function less ably then before.
    • They can display less enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities and
    • complain of fatigue, tummy pains and headaches.
    • They may also begin to opt out of activities and describe feeling inferior to others in the activity.
    • They may become uncharacteristically irritable and bad tempered and be extra harsh on even younger siblings.
    • They may describe being rejected by their peers and this may turn out to be real or imaginary.
    • Sleep disturbance may also feature.

    How could it be misdiagnosed or overlooked?
    Many of the symptoms can be overlooked as the behaviours don’t interrupt the run of the class or else Autism could be suspected. Many autistic girls remain undiagnosed because the signs of autism are less obvious than they are in boys. The main reason for “flying under the radar” of a diagnosis is the use of camouflaging as a coping mechanism. Camouflaging means to pretend to know how to socialise by using observation, imitation and adopting a persona or wearing a mask to meet social demands. An autistic girl does not intuitively know what to do or say in a social situation. From a very young age she will closely observe and analyse her peers before making the first step. She will use imitation and acting to be able to conceal her confusion when socialising with peers.
    She is generally more motivated to conform and to fit in socially than a boy. She is likely to be well behaved and less disruptive at school, and so is less likely to be noticed. She may have learned that if she is very very good, she will be left alone and if she is quiet, no one will see her, making it less likely that she will come to the attention of her teacher. Often parents can see that there are problems because their daughter “melts down” the moment she is picked up from school, i.e. the mask comes off and all the physical tension and exhaustion of the day is shed via shouting, crying and self-isolation. Unfortunately, when parents bring these matters to the attention of school staff or a health professional, they may be blamed because the problems are occurring at home rather than school.
    Missing out on an early diagnosis of depression means not only missing out on early intervention and support for the whole family, but also the child feels that something is “wrong” with her.
    Impact of trauma on people

    DP How depression affects the brain
    Mono Immune Process-assuming one transmitter is not working. Limited hypothesis
    DP Assessment
    Treatment for depression is a long-term process but when you treat the brain for depression, the brain can return to a healthy state. Treatment is moving towards the understanding of the brain as a complex neuro chemical organ in the treatment for depression.
    Dp The comfort of Hugs
    Contact comfort provides the basis for developing a secure personality development. It was not only for feeding that the monkeys developed a strong relationship
    Dp Attachement Theory

    DP 2G Final Assessment

    Cork School-Eileen Kelly
    Our Self-Evaluation Report and Improvement Plan
    1. Introduction
    This document records the outcomes of our last improvement plan, the findings of this self-evaluation, and our current improvement plan, including targets and the actions we will implement to meet the targets.
    1.1 Outcomes of our last improvement plan from September 2019-June 2022
    • Developed capacity for positive interventions throughout the school
    • Set up Timeout/Nurture Room for children
    1.2 The focus of this evaluation
    We undertook self-evaluation of teaching and learning during the period (September 2022). We evaluated the following aspect(s) of teaching and learning:
    • Working with children with Depression
    2. Findings of this evaluation
    2.1 This is effective / very effective practice in our school
    List the main strengths of the school in teaching and learning.
    • Team approach between SEN, SNA and Class Teaching Staff
    • Warm atmosphere in the building
    • Children’s Voice is visible through Student Council and Yellow Flag Team
    2.2. This is how we know (List the evidence sources. Refer to pupils’ dispositions, attainment, knowledge and skills.)
    • Pupil Questionnaires (Yellow Flag)
    • Parent Questionnaires (Yellow Flag
    • Teacher SCOT Analysis
    2.3 This is what we are going to focus on to improve our practice further (Specify the aspects of teaching and learning the school has identified and prioritised for further improvement.)

    • The wellbeing of the whole school community is central to our school’s ethos/mission statement and it is recognised by school leaders and management and all members of staff that the entire school community has a role to play in supporting learning for and learning about wellbeing.
    • There is a positive approach to discipline where issues are resolved with care, respect and consistency. • The school building, grounds, classrooms, bathrooms and work spaces are well maintained and appropriately furnished, creating a welcoming, safe and warm environment.
    • Staff, children and young people are welcoming and inclusive of those from different cultural backgrounds, those with additional needs and all sexual orientations.
    • The physical environment is modified to meet the needs of children and young people with additional and/or complex needs.
    The following are available if applicable:  Sensory room  Room for meeting with parents, visiting professionals  Specialist technology Areas for Improvement Partnerships with students were identified as an area for improvement.
    Curriculum (Teaching and Learning) Strengths According to the Mental Health Promotion: Self-evaluation Questionnaire completed by staff members, staff rated the school as performing above average in these areas:
    • Teachers are encouraged and facilitated to attend relevant CPD to meet the needs of the school population and are encouraged to engage in collaboration.
    • Teachers use opportunities to promote wellbeing across the curriculum.
    • The school deploys resources based on individual learning, behavioural, social and emotional needs under the Special Education Teaching Allocation model.
    • There are opportunities for training and on-going practice support and guidance for SNAs to further build their capacity to support children and young people with additional needs. Areas for Improvement Information gathering was identified by
    Policy and Planning Strengths According to the Mental Health Promotion: Self-evaluation Questionnaire completed by staff members, staff rated the school as performing above average in these areas:
    • The wellbeing of the whole school community underpins all school policy and plans. • Schools have appropriate wellbeing policies in place (for example, Anti Bullying Policy, Child Protection Policy, Critical Incident Policy)
    • The school uses the Education Passport (NCCA) for children and young people transitioning to post primary school.
    • School-based information is used, in conjunction with department policies and circulars and reports from external professionals, to support children and young people with additional needs.
    • The school engages in a collaborative problem-solving process to support a child/young person’s needs, identified through the school’s continuum of support.
    • A student support file is used to plan, record and review progress.
    • At times of transition, information is gathered and transfer review meetings are held for those children and young people with additional and/or complex needs.
    • The school has mechanisms in place for identifying and supporting vulnerable children and young people in the event of a critical incident. Areas for Improvement Development and dissemination of plans and policies was identified by staff as an area for improvement:
    • School staff model openness, respect and listening in their interactions with each other, children and young people and parents.
    • The board of school leaders and management promotes the establishment of a parents’ association in the school, and collaborates with the them as appropriate.
    • The school promotes professional networks for principals and teachers.
    • The school establishes good links with Department support services, community-based statutory and voluntary support services and other external agencies to support students.
    • Mentoring systems are in place whereby more senior teachers offer practical and social support to Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) and/or new staff members.
    • At times of transition schools link with other education settings, including early childhood care and education settings, crèches, other primary/post-primary schools, Youthreach, Community Education Centres to ensure successful transfers.
    • The school promotes teachers’ engagement in networks for teacher collaboration. Areas for Improvement Internal School Supports were identified by staff as an area for improvement
    Our improvement plan

    1. To build pupil’s resilience and ability to cope with feelings of worry by engaging with Friends for Life programme
    2. To set up a Support Team responsible for organising activities to promote wellbeing in our school

    DP 3A
    All or nothing thinking-a thinking trap

    3B Ecological Model

    What have you learned up to now?
    What were you most surprised to hear?
    This course has been a truly indepth discovery into the world of depression.
    I was most surprised to hear about Mental Health and Well-being: A Socio-Ecological Model. I don’t think I understood the interconnection of how this model was created to visually illustrate the individual, family, organization, community and societal factors that influence mental health and well-being.
    The World Health Organization describes health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Similarly, this mental well-being model considers the whole person and mental health across the lifespan.

    What is your personal reaction or response to the information thus far?
    I keep thinking about the attachment theory and the theory of hugs. , Being a principal and mother of two small girls, it has caused me to reflect on my actions around them.

    Section 4

    In your own words, consider the risks associated with undiagnosed or unsupported depression or self harm.
    Conversely consider the potential benefits of timely support and have a think about what support could look like. (Teacher, therapist)

    Undiagnosed or unsupported depression or self-harm in children pose significant risks to their overall well-being and future development.
    Risks of Undiagnosed or Unsupported Depression and Self-Harm in Children:
    1. Mental and Emotional Health: Without proper diagnosis and support, depression and self-harm can escalate, leading to deeper emotional distress and potentially exacerbating the underlying issues. This can result in feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and isolation.
    2. Academic Performance: Children struggling with depression or self-harm may experience difficulties concentrating, completing assignments, and participating in class. Their academic performance can suffer, hindering their educational progress.
    3. Social Relationships: Depression and self-harm can isolate children from their peers, making it challenging to establish and maintain healthy social connections. Feelings of sadness and withdrawal may lead to increased social isolation and a lack of meaningful relationships.
    4. Physical Health: Untreated depression can negatively impact physical health, potentially leading to changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and weakened immune function. The risk of engaging in self-harm behaviors can also lead to physical injuries and complications.
    5. Long-Term Effects: If left unaddressed, childhood depression and self-harm can set the stage for ongoing mental health struggles throughout adolescence and adulthood. These difficulties can impact relationships, career opportunities, and overall quality of life.
    Benefits of Timely Support:
    1. Early Intervention: Timely support can help identify and address depression and self-harm early, preventing the escalation of these issues and reducing the severity of their impact.
    2. Emotional Regulation: With proper guidance, children can learn healthy coping strategies to manage their emotions and stress, fostering resilience and emotional well-being.
    3. Academic Success: Adequate support can help children manage their mental health symptoms, improving their ability to concentrate, participate in class, and maintain academic performance.
    4. Social Skills: Therapeutic interventions can assist children in developing effective communication and social skills, enabling them to build positive relationships and reduce feelings of isolation.
    5. Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Teaching children alternative ways to cope with distress, such as through creative expression, physical activity, or mindfulness techniques, can reduce the reliance on self-harm as a coping mechanism.
    Potential Support Strategies:
    1. Teachers:
    • Creating a supportive and inclusive classroom environment.
    • Recognizing signs of distress and referring students to appropriate resources.
    • Providing additional academic assistance to help manage the impact of depression on schoolwork.
    • Encouraging open communication and offering a listening ear to students.
    2. Therapists:
    • Conducting regular therapy sessions to explore and address underlying issues.
    • Teaching coping skills and emotional regulation techniques.
    • Collaborating with families and schools to develop holistic support plans.
    • Monitoring progress and adjusting treatment as needed.
    Overall, timely and appropriate support from both teachers and therapists can play a crucial role in helping children manage and overcome depression and self-harm, promoting their mental, emotional, and social well-being.

    Module 5

    Assessment 1

    On a personal level, what have you learned about depression in general. What have you learned about the potentially significant impact of your role
    Depression is a complex mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. It can affect a child’s thoughts, emotions, and physical well-being. Some key things to understand about depression include:

    Causes: Depression can arise from a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Trauma, stress, hormonal imbalances, and neurotransmitter deficiencies can contribute to its development.

    Symptoms: Common symptoms of depression include low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness, and even suicidal thoughts.

    Impact: Depression can have a significant impact on an individual’s daily functioning, relationships, and overall quality of life. It can lead to difficulties in school or work, social isolation, and physical health problems.

    Treatment: Depression is treatable. Psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and support from friends and family can all play a role in managing depression. Early intervention is crucial for better outcomes.

    As a principal of a primary school, my role can a significant impact on the well-being of pupils and the school community.

    Assessment 2
    Please complete a reflective piece on how I can promote an inclusive environment for students with depression.
    I can contribute to addressing mental health concerns like depression:

    Promoting Awareness: Educate pupils, staff, and parents about mental health and the signs of depression. Encourage open conversations to reduce stigma and create a supportive environment.

    Providing Resources: Ensure that pupils have access to mental health resources and support. This could involve counselling services, workshops on stress management, and collaborations with mental health professionals.

    Early Intervention: Train teachers and staff to recognize signs of depression in pupils. Early identification and intervention can help prevent worsening symptoms.

    Creating a Positive School Environment: Foster a school culture that promotes emotional well-being. Encourage positive relationships, emphasize social-emotional learning, and implement anti-bullying programs.

    Collaboration: Work closely with parents and guardians to address pupils’ mental health needs. Effective communication and partnership can lead to better outcomes for pupils.

    Referral to Professionals: If a pupils is showing signs of depression or other mental health concerns, ensure that they are connected to appropriate mental health professionals for assessment and treatment.

    Self-Care for Staff: Recognize the importance of staff well-being as well. I can support my teachers and staff in managing their own stress and mental health.

    Addressing mental health concerns requires a multi-faceted approach involving the entire school community. By taking proactive steps and creating a supportive environment, I can contribute to the well-being of my pupils and make a positive impact on their lives.

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