Bouts of sadness is what many people experience during the winter months. These feelings known as the “Winter Blues” may actually be a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to Mental Health America, SAD is a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. Some symptoms of SAD include hopelessness, anxiety, mood changes, sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, social problems and sexual problems. To be considered SAD, these symptoms are followed by complete remission during the spring and summer months, for at least two years in a row. There are many ways to help prevent SAD, some of which include making your environment brighter and sunnier, getting outside, exercising regularly and socializing. In some cases SAD may go away on its own and in other cases’ seeking some professional intervention may be needed. Treatment for SAD may include light therapy, psychotherapy and medications.
- Like other forms of depression, females are about four times more likely than males to develop SAD. Read more.
- SAD affects half a million people every winter between September and April, peaking in December, January and February. Read more.
- American Psychological Association
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Adults & Child
- Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis
- Kids Health
View MCCOY’s “Our Kids, Our Families, Our Community” television show about seasonal depression here.
Youth Champion: William Bauzo, Adult & Child Center
William is a Team Leader with Adult & Child Center, which provides behavioral health support to over 120 different schools in Marion and Johnson Counties.
- Tell us about the work you do:
As a Team Leader (Clinical Manager) with the Marion County School Based program at Adult & Child Center I provide a range of clinical/case management services, supervise assigned therapist and skills development specialist staff (17), and manage program operations in 8 local schools. I have direct contact on a regular and continuing basis with children and their families as well to ensure quality of care. Our school based programs support and promote the mission of the school. Our staff support the learning process and work to enhance student behavior within the school environment. We help to identify emotional/behavioral barriers to learning, we inform and implement behavioral interventions, we recommend creative accommodations, and monitor progress. Services we often provide include: Initial assessment, Individualized treatment plan, psychiatric consultation, classroom based interventions, coordination between school and home, parental engagement, IEP consultations, behavior modification plan, and linkages to community supports, etc. The symptoms we often treat include: frequent behavioral outbursts, inability to pay attention in class, sudden change in social interactions, change in sleep or dietary patterns, social withdrawal, emotions do not match situations, recent change in school grades, inappropriate aggression or sadness, feelings/thoughts of hurting oneself, etc. “Because each child is unique, our school based programs are designed to encourage the strengths and support the challenges of each individual. Our community believe every child deserves a great education. When behavioral health concerns, delayed development issues, or other life stressors interfere with a child’s ability to learn, our specialists will help them find their way back.
- Why did you want to go into this line of work?
As a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist & Team Leader, I choose this line of work because of the impact we can make in the life of children and their families every day. I believe that children are very important to the fabric of society and are not only the future of our society, but our present day concern to see our society improve instead of decline.
- What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is seeing the impact we have on these children daily. The growth that occurs when we provide skills development sessions and the self-awareness/understanding that is acquired by each youth and child is an invaluable reward for the work we do.
- What is the most challenging part of your work?
The most challenging part is working with families or youth who are not willing to change or are on the lower end of the “readiness for change” spectrum. Some of us are ready to change and some of us are not and that is okay, but the struggle is seeing a child that wants to change and have a better home life, but the family does not support the child or change with the child which is the key to growth.
- How has MCCOY helped your organization succeed or grow?
“Our Kids, Our Families, Our Communities” show with Shanna Martin had me on their show talking about Seasonal Depression and Anxiety in children & adults. I believe providing opportunities to show case services that are out in the community readily available to consumers is an invaluable way we can help the fabric of our society improve. This show allowed me to show case our company Adult & Child Center and the vast array of services that we provide to all people and all ages regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran.
- Where do you see yourself and your organization in the next five years?
I see myself working at Adult & Child Center either in this current program or another program providing quality supervision to our staff to do the great work they do. As for my organization, I can see them become one of the top 20 non-profit organizations in the state of Indiana. I believe this is a possibility due to the wonderful quality care we provide and because our organization puts people before profit. Adult & Child Center cares about their employees which makes employees want to work hard and provide excellent quality care to others.
To find out more about the services provided or to enroll a child, please contact 317-882-5122 or www.adultandchild.org.