My Child Has Depression

Therapy Tips for Providing Support for your Child

Depression can affect people of all ages, including children and adolescents. As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to see your child struggling with this mental health condition. However, with your love, understanding and support, you can play a crucial role in helping them navigate through their depression. Below are some practical strategies for best supporting your kid through their depression:

*If you feel your child is in any danger, it’s crucial you first consult a professional. Call the crisis hotline (https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988) if you fear your child’s safety.

Educate YourselfIf your child receives a depression diagnosis, it’s important to educate yourself about the condition. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and available treatment options. Understanding depression will help you empathize with your child and respond appropriately. Educating yourself will also equip you with the knowledge to communicate effectively with mental health professionals and advocate for your child’s needs.
Open CommunicationCreate an environment where your child feels safe and comfortable talking about their feelings. Encourage open and honest conversations without judgment or criticism. Let your child know that you are there to listen and support them unconditionally. Avoid dismissing their emotions or telling them to “snap out of it.” Acknowledge their pain and validate their experiences.
Seek Professional HelpDepression is a complex condition that often requires professional intervention. Consult a mental health professional experienced in working with children and adolescents. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, develop an appropriate treatment plan, and offer valuable guidance for you and your child. Be an active participant in your child’s therapy by attending sessions, asking questions, and implementing recommended strategies at home.
Encourage
Physical ActivityRegular physical activity has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. Encourage your child to engage in activities they enjoy, such as sports, dancing, or yoga. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of sadness. Participating in physical activities together can also strengthen your bond and create positive memories.
Foster
Social ConnectionDepression often leads to social isolation, exacerbating feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Encourage your child to maintain their existing friendships and help them engage in social activities. Support them in joining clubs, groups, or community organizations where they can meet like-minded peers. Social connections provide emotional support and a sense of belonging, which can be beneficial for their mental well-being.
Monitor Screen TimeIn today’s access to technology, depression rates have skyrocketed in adolescents and teenagers. Excessive screen time, especially on social media, can negatively impact a child’s mental health and development. Monitor and limit their screen time, ensuring they have a healthy balance between online and offline activities. Encourage offline activities that promote face-to-face interaction and develop real-life connections.

Supporting a child with depression requires empathy, education, and ongoing commitment. By educating yourself, fostering open communication, seeking professional help, and creating a positive environment, you can provide the necessary support for your child’s journey towards hope and harmony. Your presence and unconditional love are powerful tools in helping them navigate through mental health challenges. 

If you’d like to speak to a professional for more support, connect with Decade2Connect today.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!