Advice from our School Family Worker …


Short Definition:

Symptoms of depression in children often include:

  • sadness, or a low mood that does not go away
  • being irritable or grumpy all the time
  • not being interested in things they used to enjoy
  • feeling tired and exhausted a lot of the time
  • have trouble sleeping or sleep more than usual
  • not be able to concentrate
  • interact less with friends and family
  • be indecisive
  • not have much confidence
  • eat less than usual or overeat
  • have big changes in weight
  • seem unable to relax or be more lethargic than usual
  • talk about feeling guilty or worthless
  • feel empty or unable to feel emotions (numb)
  • have thoughts about suicide or self-harming
  • actually self-harm, for example, cutting their skin or taking an overdose


Jacqueline’s Useful Tips:

  • Be honest and explain that you’re worried that they’re going through something difficult
  • Point them towards websites or helplines that can give them information on depression, drugs, and self-harm so they can find out the facts themselves
  • Stay in touch with family and friends
  • Be more active
  • Face your fears
  • Do not blame yourself for any problems they’re having and try not to take it personally – this will not help the situation
  • Tell them you’ll be there for them when they do want to talk
  • Let them choose where to go for help, which may be a GP, a family friend or school counsellor
  • Help your teenager think for themselves – encourage them to think through the pros and cons of their behaviour, remind them what they’re good at and what you like about them, and help them think critically about what they see and hear.

Useful Links & Further Resources:

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