Parent's Guide to Depression
Depression is a common problem. In fact, it’s much more common than you may think. Around 1 in 10 young people will experience feelings of depression, stress or anxiety by the time they reach 18.
As a parent, this can be incredibly difficult. None of us want to see our children in pain. But these feelings can be helped.
Depression during adolescence does not have to extend into adulthood. If diagnosed and addressed early enough, it is much less likely to recur in later life.
There are a number of things you can do, as a parent, to help your child through challenging times. The steps below should help you feel more confident, informed and better equipped to support your son and daughter.
The warning signs
It can be hard to distinguish normal adolescent behaviour from depression. Mental health professionals recognise a number of warning signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Talking to your child
Asking your son or daughter how they feel may need some planning ahead to go well. Think carefully about what you want to say, and how, to gain the full picture.
Suicidal thoughts and self-harm
You may be worried that your child is thinking of harming themselves or is feeling suicidal. It is always better to make time to talk about this than ignore it.
When to act and what to do
Don’t be afraid to seek advice. There are many reliable, trusted and safe sources that may be helpful to both you and your child.
Going to your GP
You, or your son or daughter, may be worried they will be “labelled” or concerned about medication or hospital admittance. Don’t be. Your GP is there to help you through this.
Therapies and treatment
A range of therapies and treatments are available, depending on the severity of the depression. Whichever route you go down, it is important that your son or daughter is happy with the path ahead.
10 ways you can support your child through depression
Show your child you care by walking alongside them on the road to recovery. Affection, understanding and a peaceful, loving environment can make all the difference.
What to do if your child refuses help
Your son or daughter may not respond to you, talk to you or refuse to seek help. If this happens, you’re not alone: support is there to assist you and your child.
Life after lockdown Wellbeing Action Plan
During the coronavirus pandemic, we have all been through enormous change and some of us may experience further uncertainty and change in the coming weeks and monthsView resource
Supporting children returning to school (parents & carers)
Guidance for parents and carers on how to help your child prepare to go back to schoolView resource
Coping with self-harm resource
This guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for parents and carersView resource
Asking for help
Tips for young people on when it’s time to talk about their mental health, or if they want to help a friendView resource
Social media and teenagers
A practical guide for parents and carers of teenagers on using social mediaView resource
Wellbeing Action Plan (child)
A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult timesView resource
Guide to depression for parents and carers
This booklet aims to help recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their childView resource
Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (primary)
An activity pack for children, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to WellbeingView resource
Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (secondary)
An activity pack for young people, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to WellbeingView resource
Warning signs poster
A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.View resource
Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depressionView resource
Parents guide to depression (Welsh)
This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their childView resource
Was this article helpful?Your feedback helps us create better content so if this article helped, please leave a like below and let others know.
The Charlie Waller Trust
The Charlie Waller Trust is a trading name of The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales 1109984. A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales 5447902. Registered address: The Charlie Waller Trust, Rear Office, First Floor, 32 High Street, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3JD.
Copyright © 2020 The Charlie Waller Trust. All rights reserved.