The information contained on this page should not take the place of help from a professional but it is to serve as a reference for parents and students.
Everyone has experienced sadness from time to time depending on certain life situations. Depression is a serious disorder that leaves an individual feeling sad, empty, or hopeless all day every day for at least two weeks. In adolescents, this may be shown through anger or irritable mood.
Some signs of depression in children are:
- Sadness or tearfulness
- Withdrawing from friends or activities
- Not wanting to go to school
- Eating too much or not wanting to eat at all
- Sleeping excessively or not being able to sleep
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you are concerned you child may be struggling with depression here are some steps to get help:
- Talk to your school counselor: School counselors can talk with students about what they are experiencing, help them develop positive coping skills, and offer parents community resources for further support.
- Talk to your family doctor: Doctors can evaluate children and adolescents for depression and recommend further steps.
- Seek outside counseling: a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) can evaluate children and adolescents for depression and provide counseling and support to address it. Your school counselor can also provide a list of counselors in our community.
If you child is thinking about suicide it is important to seek help immediately by going to a local emergency room for an evaluation.
If you are experiencing a crisis right now:
- Call 911
- Go to the closest ER
- Call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
For More Information and Resources:
National Institute of Health - Teen Depression
Parent Guide to Teen Depression
Childhood Depression - What Parents Can Do to Help