An area of student need characterized by chronic sadness and feelings of inadequacy. Students may have low moods that negatively impact their thoughts, feelings, behaviours, views and physical well-being.
• Develop a student profile and use differentiated instruction targeted at the student’s preferred learning method.
• Increase student engagement with advance notice of upcoming topics of interest to the student.
• Provide positive reinforcement for any proximity towards the desired outcome.
• Chunk large tasks into parts.
• Frequent teacher check in’s.
• Offer breaks from tasks.
• Develop a warm and supportive rapport with the student. Find out his/her likes and dislikes and engage in friendly conversations.
• Provide positive feedback whenever possible.
• Provide positive re-framing and rational responses to self-critical statements.
• Teach talking back to self to combat self-critical thoughts to a more realistic self-evaluation.
• Boost self-esteem by giving special role that highlights strengths.
• Challenge mistaken beliefs (often deep rooted and not recognized as beliefs) and replace with functional beliefs.
• Provide lessons on coping with criticism.
• Teach visualization of success: positive outcomes for an action/goal, list of positive consequences, visualize self in favourite spot with all five senses.
• Teach examine advantages and disadvantages to a particular behaviour or cognition.
• Provide lessons that focus on metacognition where students become aware of strengths, hobbies, interests and what makes them happy.
• Limit negative influences.
• Teach and monitor healthy diet and exercise.
• Teach healthy sleep habits and duration.
• Teach setting limits and exposure to media.
• Teach positive relationship skills.
• Share observations with parents, school team and/or mental health professionals
• Don’t criticize or make negative/sarcastic comments.
• Improve classroom climate. (Hyperlinked to this page that will be developed soon!)
• Consider the development of an IEP with an Alternative Program Plan focused on the student developing improved self-esteem.
• Consider the development of an IEP with a Transition Plan, aimed at supporting the student in developing a greater comfort in the school environment.
• Collect data on student behaviour and mood, via tracking.
• Consider and collaboratively problem solve for issues involving lack of food, transportation, inadequate clothing for the weather, lack of clean clothes, bullying, substance abuse issues, etc.
• Encourage the student to become involved in extra-curricular activities.
• Meet regularly with parents and the school team to discuss concerns and strategies.
• Make a referral to a Child and Youth Worker (CYW), Social Worker and/or Counsellor.
• Provide resources on depression (below).
• Provide instructional, environmental and assessment accommodations as required
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
Start on p. 23