Depression: A guide for parents and carers

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What to do if your child refuses help

As a parent, it’s natural that you will want to help your child and ease their pain.

Yet your child may not respond to you, talk to you or use any of the information you suggest. They may also refuse to seek help or to see a GP.

If this happens, there are steps that you can still take to help your child.

Speak with your GP

You can still see a GP for help and advice for yourself, even if your child will not. A doctor or a therapist may be able to offer suggestions or material for your child to use in private, as well as provide ideas of things you could say to persuade them to seek help themselves.

School is another important starting place

Pastoral staff at your child’s school will be used to dealing with parental enquiries, and they may have past experience in mental health and depression. Speak with a person who is already involved with your child and express your concerns. This allows them to follow it up on your behalf and offer some personal support.

Suggest a trusted friend or other family member

If your child is worried about attending an appointment - either with a GP or school staff - suggest someone who they may like to go with. Whether it’s a friend or family member, the important thing is that your child has a supportive face by their side.

Make them aware of self-help and reading material

There are lots of helpful available for young people, for instance at The Mix or YoungMinds, so if your child would prefer to read in private, that’s absolutely fine. Always ask what they think will help them most - they may have ideas that you are unaware of.

Provide practical support to lighten the load

Feelings of depression, stress and anxiety can be reduced with the right environment. Being consistent with your tone and approach, and not ignoring or criticising your child, may encourage them to take action, when they are ready.

Resources

Resource

An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs - A guide for parents

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs - A guide for teachers

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

Asking for help (adult)

When it’s time to talk about your mental health.

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Resource

Asking for help (young person)

A simple guide for young people to help talk about their feelings.

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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

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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

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Resource

Guide to depression for parents and carers (Welsh)

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

View resource
Resource

Looking after yourself during your GCSEs - A guide for pupils

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

Low mood poster

Poster created in partnership with Bank Workers Charity highlighting common causes of low mood, how to help yourself feel better and information on where to get more help.

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Resource

Making the move to university: care leavers

Read how to look after your mental health if you are starting university after being in care.

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Resource

Making the move to university: international students

Moving to university is especially tough for those who are coming from another country. Don't forget to make sure you prioritise your mental health, and read how to do so here.

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Resource

Making the move to university: LGBTQ+ students

Read our resource on how you can best take care of your mental health when making the transition to university if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Resource

Making the move to university: not fitting in

Read our guide on how to protect your wellbeing if you are starting university and feel like you may not fit in in any way.

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Resource

Making the move to university: students with adverse childhood experiences

Resource for those starting university who have had adverse childhood experiences such as trauma or abuse.

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Resource

Making the move to university: young carers

Read how to access support and prioritise your mental health while transitioning to university as a young carer.

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Resource

Perfectionism

Aiming high can sometimes come at a cost. This eight page guide looks at ‘unhealthy perfectionism’ – how to spot it and advice on how to develop effective interventions.

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Resource

Supporting a child with anxiety

A guide for parents and carers to help understand anxiety more clearly and begin to address it.

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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.

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Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

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

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Resource

Wellbeing Journal

A simple, journal to help young people think about and write down the things which make them feel good.

View resource

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