Depression: A guide for parents and carers

White curve
When to act and what to do

Talking to your child about how they feel is a big step to take towards helping your child overcome feelings of depression.

An open conversation with your child may not always be possible, if their mood is so low that they are unable to function normally. If you are worried about any risk of suicide or self-harm, you should not hesitate to seek professional advice and support.

Try not to be rushed into finding a solution

Where possible, it’s best to try and find a way to resolve things together with your child. Coping with depression is not a ‘quick fix’ and it takes time. Alongside your child, you can seek advice from a number of trusted sources, including specialist helplines offering confidential support and a listening ear.

Seek professional help if needed

Professional help is available to young people experiencing difficult times. School nurses and university counsellors should be able to provide guidance, advice and signpost you towards other resources and support networks. Some may also be qualified therapists. A school nurse or psychologist can also make a mental health assessment and can sometimes refer people for expert help.

Make an appointment with your GP

Raising your concerns with your GP can be daunting, but it is essential to seek a medical opinion if you are concerned in any way about your child’s wellbeing. Take time to understand how best to plan your visit with your GP so that you and your child both feel comfortable and speak with the right medical professional for your circumstances.

Support your child

Keep speaking with your child. Keep reassuring your child and listening to what they have to say to you. Depression is a common problem and it can be helped if diagnosed and addressed early. By acting and seeking advice, there is a greater chance of  these negative feelings and thought patterns being overcome for your child and not recurring in later life.

Try to keep family routines as normal as possible

“I just wanted friends and family to treat me normally”.

This is familiar feedback from young people experiencing depression. Try to keep family routines as normal as possible, maintaining ordinary everyday activities and planning small events and moments to look forward to and enjoy together. This provides positive distractions for your child. Other siblings and close friends may also need to know what is happening: normalise the situation by accepting it and supporting your child. 

 

Going to your GP

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.

View resource
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.

View resource
Resource

Asking for help (adult)

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

View resource
Resource

Asking for help (young person)

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

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

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

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

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

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.

View resource
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.

View resource
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.

View resource
Resource

Social media and teenagers

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

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

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

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

View resource
Resource

Wellbeing Activities

Activity sheets on the five ways to wellbeing.

View resource
Resource

Wellbeing Journal

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

View 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.
Follow us
The Charlie Waller Trust
Queens Voluntary Service Award