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Many children and teens experience sadness and feelings of hopelessness or fear from time to time. In some children, feelings of persistent sadness and hopelessness can interfere with social activities, interests or hobbies, schoolwork, and family life. Although depression is a serious condition, with early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan, childhood depression can be overcome. 

CHCS Challenges - Child Depression

Common Signs of Depression in Childhood or Adolescence

The signs and symptoms of childhood depression manifest differently than in adults dealing with depression. When depressed, younger people are more likely to have physical or bodily symptoms, such as aches or pains, restlessness, and/or distress. Other signs of childhood depression, include:

  • Irritability and/or anger
  • Feeling sad or hopeless a lot of the time
  • Not wanting to participate in fun activities
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Changes in weight and energy levels
  • Having a hard time focusing or paying attention
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or low self-worth
  • Showing signs of self-injury or self-destructive behavior
  • Running away from home or talking about it

In some cases, extreme depression can lead to thoughts of suicide.

Depression is not your fault. There is no single cause for mental health disorders; instead, they can be caused by a mixture of biological, psychological and environmental factors. Research also suggests that children are more likely to develop depression when they experience trauma or stress, are maltreated, are bullied or rejected by other children, or when their own parents have anxiety or depression.

Mental health and wellness is essential for a child to live an independent, productive life full of positive experiences. Through mental health treatment and outpatient programs, The Center for Health Care Services helps children get on-track with peers, achieve academic success and live a positive, meaningful life as a well-functioning adult. If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health condition like depression, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Outpatient Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents

Being mentally healthy in childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning healthy social skills, and how to cope when problems arise. When there is a concern that a child might not be meeting these milestones, The Center offers an array of services that can help.


Our goal is to strengthen and support families by providing services for an array of issues, including:

  • Sadness or depression
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social isolation
  • Harming self or others
  • Behavioral problems
  • Academic problems
  • Running away and truancy
  • School bullying
  • Parenting support
  • Child abuse/assault
  • Divorce
  • Grief/loss
  • History of trauma

Children’s mental health treatment is for Bexar County youth ages 3 – 17 with a DSM-V Diagnosis, and includes the following services:

  • assessment
  • skills training
  • counseling
  • case management
  • medication training and support
  • psychiatric evaluation and medication monitoring
  • training
  • family partner support

How to Enroll in Children's Behavioral Health Services through The Center for Health Care Services

To enroll a child in services, start by calling (210) 261-CHCS (2427) to begin the registration process. The enrollment screening process is done Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Children’s Behavioral Health Clinic at Bandera: 6812 Bandera Road, Suite 102, San Antonio, Texas 78238.

In the event of a mental health crisis including suicidal or homicidal thoughts, please call the 24-Hour Crisis & Substance Use Helpline at 800-316-9241 or 210-223-SAFE (7233). Please call 911 if harm to self or harm to others is imminent.

The Center helps children and adolescents find hope, determine their path to wellness, and discover their way to an independent, productive life.

For more information, or to enroll in services, please call:

Children: (210) 261-CHCS (2427)

Good Health and Wellbeing: Children 101

Mental health and wellness is essential for a child to live an independent, productive life full of positive experiences. Because a childs development begins with the love and encouragement they receive from parents and caregivers, its important to: 

  • Establish healthy habits: nutritious food, adequate sleep, and exercise
  • Provide a safe and secure home
  • Give children unconditional love
  • Nurture a childs confidence and self-esteem
  • Make time for play
  • Provide fair and consistent guidance and discipline
  • Teach your children healthy ways to manage stress and bounce back from adversity
  • Help your child maintain emotional balance by teaching them resiliency 
  • Take care of your own mental health!

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