Increase in Child and Teen Depression Lead to New In-Person and Virtual Summer Creative Arts Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Compass Health Center and Compass Virtual have developed a summer program for children and teens who struggle with behavioral health challenges.

Compass Health Center and Compass Virtual have developed a summer program for children and teens who struggle with behavioral health challenges. The program, which runs from June 27 through August 5, 2022, is available at all Chicagoland Compass locations, as well as online for Illinois residents through Compass Virtual. The Summer Creative Arts Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is designed to help children and teens develop skills to appropriately navigate the mental health struggles often associated with childhood, adolescence, and the transition to young adulthood.

The summer months can be a challenging time for children and teens and may lead to an increase in stress, anxiety, and depression. Major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern can be linked to some of those changes. The Summer Creative Arts IOP will give children the tools needed to thrive in the summer and transition smoothly back to school come fall. Compass's team provides a nurturing and evidence-based treatment environment for young people to creatively express their experiences while reducing symptoms. Each child also receives a customized treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs.

"Kids are not immune to mental health struggles in the summer. After spending nine months in the structured environment of a school, it can be difficult to adjust to the increase in downtime and lack of social interaction, two factors that can intensify symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression," said Lizzie Goodman, LCSW, Director of Adolescent Programs, Compass Virtual. 

According to Harvard Medical School, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) develops in young people more often than in older adults. Although more common in colder months, seasonal depression is not exclusive to the winter blues. Experts believe that summertime seasonal depression can be related to less melatonin in our systems due to the sunshine. Longer days, shorter nights and even the hotter temperatures can cause disruption in sleep-wake cycles.

Compass Health Center's Summer Creative Arts IOP includes a full psychiatric evaluation, regular consultations with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, individual sessions with a licensed clinician, structured skills group therapy, family therapy, and experiential therapies such as improv, dance movement therapy (DMT), drama therapy, art therapy, yoga, recreation, creative writing, and music therapy.

"This new program is truly one of a kind. When we think about summer break for our school-aged children we think of fun, sun, and activity. This unique program offers an intermediate level of mental health care in a very approachable, creative, and fun way," said Carrie Overbey, LCPC, Chief Clinical Officer - Chicago, Compass Health Center. "The Creative Arts Therapies are highly effective evidence-based treatments. The goal is to utilize the creative processes to help explore self-expression and develop new ways to cope with depression and anxiety. These modalities, alongside Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills, will prepare children and teens for a return to school in the fall."

The Creative Arts IOP is available in-person at Compass Health Center's Northbrook, Oak Brook, and Chicago locations, as well as online through Compass Virtual. 

Learn more about Compass Health Center and Compass Virtual's Creative Arts IOP here.

Media Contact

Britt Teasdale
Associate Director, Brand Management, Compass Health Center
Phone 216-926-0550 |

Source: Compass Health Center and Compass Virtual

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