If you believe your child is depressed, here are some things you can do to support them:
Promote open communication and trust
Ask how they’re feeling and what’s on their mind, and then listen to what they say. Make sure to show that you’ve heard them and validate their feelings.
Limit screen time
Too much time spent online can increase feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. Technology is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives, but too much time spent on social media or gaming can lead to online bullying that sparks violence or self-harm, as well as addiction that prevents kids from showing up for life in a healthy way.
Create opportunities for healthy activities
Encourage exercise, especially outdoors, and plan in-person social activities and creative ways to explore the world.
Search for peer support
There are groups of parents who have connected online to support each other and help each other support their children who are struggling with mental health issues. Search Facebook and Google for meet-up groups for parents of children struggling with depression and seek out some peer support.
Talk to your child about suicide
If you’re worried that your child may have thoughts about suicide or hurting themselves, here’s where to start.
- Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide: Sometimes people worry that by asking they’ll plant the idea of suicide, but you’ll actually create space for support.
- Call for help in an emergency: For urgent, confidential advice about an adolescent or teenager who is suicidal, call a crisis line for support.
- Make your home safer: Adolescents can be impulsive. Lock up and secure any and all firearms, toxic chemicals and medication.
- Learn even more with these in-depth resources: