Title

The Efficacy of Service Learning and the Instillation of Hope in Depressed Teens

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

This proposal holds relevance in strand four because it addresses mental health and promotes a possible solution for a very common issue amongst teens, depression.

Brief Program Description

How can we as educators, counselors, parents, and community leaders help our depressed teens? The answer will be explored by identifying the benefits of service learning and the cognitive adjustments that transpire when hope takes over. This presentation will highlight how depression can decrease by instilling hope in teens through effective community service projects at school or in the community.

Summary

Depression in teens is very prevalent. The National Alliance on Mental Health states that one in five teens will experience depression at some point in their lives. With numbers of this magnitude, is it possible our teens are more depressed than we know? The symptoms of depression for teens may differ from those of an adult. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, teens may exhibit poor mood, school ditching, frequent complaints of feeling sick, and acting out. These symptoms may be contributed to environmental, genetic, biological or psychological factors. So, if the symptoms differ, how can we work with this population? The National Association of School Psychologists published an article based on 20 years of research in the area of instilling hope in students. The article states that the research demonstrates children who are hopeful are more likely to do better in school and life than children who are not hopeful. The term hope or the instillation of hope is associated with faith and the motivation that empowers one to continue believing in themselves despite their circumstances. This notion of hope will be assessed in the approach of Adlerian therapy. Adler proposed that certain pathologies emerge from our children that discourage social interest and promote inferiority. If the inferiority is addressed through a means of enhancing social interests, let’s say through community service, the feeling of inadequacy, defeat and deficiency will diminish. Research suggests that service learning promotes a higher level of thinking. According to Find Youth Info., “students can generalize what they learn from their experiences with service-learning. They learn how to be respectful toward others and towards public property, and develop awareness of healthy life choices. Finally, they learn about cultural diversity and show more tolerance of ethnical diversity.” (Leming, 2001; Lerner et al., 2008). As noted, there is a wealth of information to support the difference hope can make in an individual. Likewise, there is evidence to support how service learning/community service benefits student cognition and well-being. Although there are many suggestions for treating depression, such as medication or therapy, this presentation will highlight how service learning/community service can be an extended technique used to instill hope and self-esteem in our youth who feel hopeless and empty.

Evidence

Corporation for National and Community Service (2007). The Health Benefits of Volunteering. Available online at: http://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/07_0506_hbr.pdf March J, Silva S, Petrycki S, Curry J, Wells K, Fairbank J, Burns B, Domino M, McNulty S, Vitiello B, Severe J. Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) team. Fluoxetine, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and their combination for adolescents with depression: Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2004; 292(7): 807–820.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Kenyon C. Knapp, Ph.D., LPC, NBCC, CPCS is the Assistant Coordinator for the Doctoral Counseling Program and Associate Professor of Counseling at Penfield College of Mercer University, Atlanta campus, where he teaches Masters and Ph.D. level counseling courses. He has had a part-time private practice for over 18 years, and has worked in numerous counseling settings. He currently serves as a board member for CACREP, the national accreditation body for the counseling field. He has specialties in the areas of crisis counseling, sexual addiction counseling, and Christian counseling. However, his greatest joy and accomplishments come in the form of his wife and four children, who keep him practical, multitasking, and very grateful.

Kimberly Griffin, MA is a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at Mercer University where she teaches Masters level counseling courses. She also works part-time as an online instructor and volunteers her time as coordinator of a Lay Christian Counselor ministry at her local church. When she is not working in the field, she spends time with her husband of 17 years and three children whom she adores.

Keyword Descriptors

Depression, Teenagers, Hope, Service Learning, Community Service

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

The Efficacy of Service Learning and the Instillation of Hope in Depressed Teens

Harborside Center East and West

How can we as educators, counselors, parents, and community leaders help our depressed teens? The answer will be explored by identifying the benefits of service learning and the cognitive adjustments that transpire when hope takes over. This presentation will highlight how depression can decrease by instilling hope in teens through effective community service projects at school or in the community.