Depression: A guide for parents and carers
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.
Parent's Guide to Depression related articles
Asking for help (young person)
A simple guide for young people to help talk about their feelings.View resource
Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depressionView 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 childView 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 childView 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
Making the move to university: care leavers
Read how to look after your mental health if you are starting university after being in care.View 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.View 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.View 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.View 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.View 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.View resource
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
Supporting a child with anxiety
A guide for parents and carers to help understand anxiety more clearly and begin to address it.View 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
Wellbeing Action Plan (child)
A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult timesView resource
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