School's out and the kids are home enjoying the long days of summer. Or maybe not. While July is considered by some to be the happiest month of the year, sometimes the change in routine or expectations of the season can lead you or your children to feel depressed.

Depression in children or their parents is a concern as either can negatively affect a child's wellbeing. Children who are depressed may miss out on being with their peers and enjoying activities. It is also more likely for children who grow up with a depressed parent to be depressed in adulthood (Weissman, Wickramaratne, Nomura, Warner, Pilowsky & Verdeli, 2006).

The good news is that treatment can help. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that when mothers achieved remission of their depression symptoms through treatment their children also became less likely to be depressed (National Institute of Mental Health, 2006).

Because treatment for mental health conditions can improve not only your life but also your children's, the Rock Island Arsenal Employee Assistance Program is offering you the opportunity to take a screening for a variety of common mental health conditions, including a screening to take if you are worried that your child may be depressed. The screenings are free, anonymous, and only take a few minutes. To complete a screening please visit: and enter keyword ASAP to complete a simple online questionnaire. You will receive immediate, customized feedback as well as the opportunity to schedule an appointment for further evaluation if necessary.

- National Institute of Mental Health. (2006). Depression Rates Are Lower in Children Whose Mothers Are Successfully Treated. Retrieved January 14, 2010, from

- Weissman, M. M., Wickramaratne, P., Nomura, Y., Warner, V., Pilowsky, D. & Verdeli, H. (2006). Offspring of Depressed Parents: 20 Years Later [Electronic version]. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 1001-1008.