A Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative Resource
Responding to the Winter Blues in the Classroom
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Referred to in popular culture as the “winter blues,” seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects up to 16 million Americans each year with an additional 10-20% of Americans experiencing more mild symptoms.

SAD is a subtype of clinical depression that typically occurs during the winter months and is associated with a reduction in sunlight exposure. Students and staff who are prone to depressive symptoms may be particularly vulnerable to increased feelings of sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness during the winter when sunlight hours are shortest.
Research points to a correlation between sunlight exposure and incidence of SAD.
Treating SAD in the School Building
Noticing symptoms of SAD in your students, colleagues, or yourself? SAD, like other mental health disorders, is a medical issue that can benefit from the strategies mentioned in our toolkit, but may also require the support and consultation of professional providers. 

Conclusions for Educators and Schools: While much of the recognition and treatment for SAD remains in the medical and mental health domains, as educators we can search for and implement strategies that may enhance mood and a sense of well-being.

School Mental Health Initiative:
Childhood Trauma Learning Collaborative (C-TLC)
Mental Health Resources for New England Educators: The C-TLC is designed to strengthen mental health supports that address the needs of children who have experienced/are at risk of experiencing significant trauma. The School Mental Health Initiative, which includes collaborations with Harvard University and C4 Innovations , provides training and technical assistance to school-based mental health professionals in the six states that are a part of the Region 1 grouping for activities: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Our aim is to enhance school culture and prepare school personnel to improve the mental health of school-aged children in the New England region.
This toolkit was developed by the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative of the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center and is being disseminated by the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI).
CEI's e-Newsletters subscribers receive this resource as a value-added resource.