For many young people, the seemingly never-ending pandemic and isolation of virtual learning have exacerbated symptoms of depression that researchers documented among this age group long before COVID-19.

In response to what has been described as overwhelming feelings of sadness and hopelessness, some local teachers, like Preshona Ambrita Ghose, have implemented unique instructional tools to better engage young people.

“We talk about the science of living, so that our joy can be at the center,” Ghose, a teacher of 15 years, told The Informer as she explained a three-week meditative project designed to assist her high school students in controlling their thoughts and raising their level of mindfulness.

The project integrates elements of a similar exercise that alternative medicine practitioner Deepak Chopra has endorsed, while building off Ghose’s previous lessons about extracting metaphors from science.

Ghose, who teaches multiple subjects at a bevy of private and African-centered institutions across the D.C. metropolitan area, said that she aspires to teach young people in a manner that will encourage them to apply lessons in their daily life.

For her, this ethos, in tandem with check-ins with students and parents, call-and-response techniques, songs with visuals, dialogue, and short periodic quizzes, keeps students immersed in the learning process while sitting behind a computer.

“I like to take my students through a journey in each subject in a way that makes sense to me, in a more big-picture, ‘right-brained’ sort of way that connects more with living our lives,” Ghose told The Informer. “The universe speaks in patterns, and we have the ability to create our own.”

Though episodes of teen suicide have been on the rise since before the pandemic, and researchers have seen an uptick in phone calls to hotlines, experts have been hesitant to declare a direct link between the pandemic and teen suicide.

Even so, the American Academy of Pediatrics counts irritability, frequent conflicts with friends and family, lack of effort in academic activity, hygienic decline, and suicidal thoughts as the symptoms of teen depression most likely to appear during the pandemic.

Read the full article about teachers supporting teens with depression by Sam P. K. Collins at The 74.