Parent's Guide to Depression

A 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.

 

Understand the warning signs

 

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.

 

Learn how to talk to your child

 

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.

 

Suicidal thoughts and self-harm

 

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.

 

Learn when to act and what to do

 

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.

 

Going to your GP

 

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.

 

Therapies and treatment

 

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.

 

Ways you can support your child

 

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.

 

What to do if your child refuses help

Resources

Resource

Supporting a child with anxiety

A guide for parents and carers

View resource
Resource

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 months

View resource
Resource

Supporting children returning to school (parents & carers)

Guidance for parents and carers on how to help your child prepare to go back to school

View resource
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 carers

View resource
Resource

Perfectionism

How to spot and respond to unhealthy perfectionism

View resource
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 friend

View resource
Resource

Social media and teenagers

A practical guide for parents and carers of teenagers on using social media

View resource
Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult times

View resource
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 child

View resource
Resource

Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (primary)

An activity pack for children, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to Wellbeing

View resource
Resource

Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (secondary)

An activity pack for young people, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to Wellbeing

View resource
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
Resource

Depression booklet

Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depression

View resource
Resource

Parents guide to depression (Welsh)

This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

View resource
Resource

Coping with self-harm (Welsh)

A guide for parents and carers in Welsh

View resource
Resource

Supporting children & young people as they settle back into education

Ideas for parents and carers on how to support their children as schools reopen.

View resource

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