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Established 2004
School for Depressed Teens - Pacific Quest: Wilderness Therapy for Teens & Young Adults

School for Depressed Teens – Pacific Quest: Wilderness Therapy for Teens & Young Adults

If you were given the chance, would you want to relive your teen years? Now imagine living through all those highs and lows and teen angst in the current digital age. As difficult as the teenage years may have been for many parents, today’s teens have to face this tumultuous time while having nearly every moment captured on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. They never get a break.

For an increasing number of teens, this constant barrage of attention, judgment and pressure may lead to depression. Staying at their local school doesn’t give them a break or even the sufficient support they need to learn to manage their depression in healthy, productive ways. For these young adults, finding the right school for depressed teens can be the critical difference between suffering through these difficult years and surviving them. At Pacific Quest on Hawaii’s Big Island, we have nearly 20 years of experience helping teens and young adults develop the skills they need to thrive.

What Does Teen Depression Look Like?

While some people may casually say they’re depressed because their favorite TV show ended or their plans were canceled, chances are good they’ll quickly recover from these minor setbacks. Someone with major depression or clinical depression, however, is suffering too much to simply bounce back from life’s challenges, even the smallest ones.

This serious mental health problem causes a profound feeling of sadness that can last months or even years. Depression in teens manifests in somewhat different ways than in adults, so a school for depressed teens is often the key to helping a young adult who’s suffering.

Here are some symptoms that are common in teens with depression:


  • Emotional changes: While teens are often moody, those suffering from depression tend to be especially irritable, angry or hostile and may lash out, even over seemingly minor issues. They are often plagued by feelings of sadness and hopelessness and may have crying spells.
  • Sensitive to criticism: Depressed teens are especially vulnerable to criticism, failure and rejection and feelings of worthlessness. They may focus on past failures and get caught in a cycle of self-blame. They need constant positive reinforcement.
  • Physical changes: Some depressed teens have unexplained aches and pains such as headaches and stomach aches that don’t seem to have a diagnosable cause. A change in hygiene, sleeping or eating habits as well as chronic fatigue are also signs of depression in teens.
  • Behavioral Changes: Depressed adults tend to isolate themselves, but depressed teens usually keep some friendships. They may also start hanging out with a different group of friends. Other signs include a loss of interest in activities, poor school performance, a general lack of motivation and enthusiasm and difficulty concentrating. Depressed teens may self-medicate with alcohol and drugs or self-harm by cutting or burning themselves. In some cases, teens will have thoughts of death or suicide and may even make a suicide plan.


No matter why your teen may be depressed, it’s critical to get help for your child and your entire family and find support and a school for depressed teens. The National Institute of Mental Health is a great resource to learn more about depression in teenagers.

Finding the Right School for Depressed Teens

If your child is depressed, you may feel it’s best to keep him or her at home and in familiar surroundings. However, staying at home and continuing to attend the local school doesn’t give your child the necessary opportunity for a fresh start.

While schools may have counselors on staff, they have to tend to the needs of hundreds of students and may not be able to give your child enough help and attention. Familiar places and people may only be reminders of the isolation your teen feels, and a change in environment can be the critical first step your child needs to learn how to manage depression. Learn more about teen depression.

Set on Hawaii’s Big Island, Pacific Quest has welcomed and nurtured teens for nearly 20 years. We use wilderness and horticultural therapy to teach students sustainable life skills and to empower them to learn how to manage their depression. In combination with behavioral therapy, teens develop various skills including self-care and exercise, cooking, organization, goal setting, time management and community living.

Our neurodevelopmental approach, which combines the healing effects of our natural surroundings with individualized therapy may be the answer you and your family have been looking for. As a school for depressed teens, Pacific Quest takes an integrative approach by treating teens’ minds, bodies and spirits. Contact Pacific Quest today to learn how we can help you and your teen begin the healing process.

Contact Us Today

Don’t wait for problems to get worse, contact us today to see how our school for depressed teens can help your child. To learn more about us contact us with any of your questions and to set up a consultation on our office line, 808-937-5806, or email us.

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