The holiday season is filled with peace and joy for many, yet sadness and despair for others, creating the perfect storm for the onset or worsening of depression.
As a parent or other caregiver, do you feel confident you would know if your child was experiencing depression? And if your child was, would you know what to do?
If you are questioning your ability to discern typical teen behavior from something more serious, you’re not alone. According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health from the University of Michigan, 40% of parents surveyed said they feel they would have a hard time telling normal ups and downs from possible depression in their tweens and teens. In addition, 30% of parents were concerned with recognizing signs and symptoms of teen depression due to youth being good at hiding their feelings.
It is important to know that teen depression presents itself differently than adult depression in several ways. In the previous tip, Know! The Red Flags of Teen Depression, we provided tips for talking with your teen on the subject, and shared the signs and symptoms of depression, specific to teens, so that parents are better armed to recognize even subtle hints.
In this tip we focus on how parents and other caregivers can help teens who are, in fact, experiencing depression during the holiday season and beyond (with these tips from HelpGuide: Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression):
Encourage Social Connection
If you suspect that a teenager is suicidal, take immediate action! For 24-hour suicide prevention and support in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.
Everyone has a role in prevention. By reading this Know! Parent Tip today, you’re doing your part to prevent substance misuse and create a healthier world for all.
We created these free parent tips to empower parents like you to protect the young person in your life from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. However, we rely on donations from people like you to provide these tips. If you found this tip interesting or helpful, please consider donating at preventionactionalliance.org/donate.
Know! Parent Tips are provided by Prevention Action Alliance with support from the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, the Ohio Department of Education, and Start Talking!.
Know! Parent Tips are also available in Spanish at the Know! archives.