If your child is suffering with depression, there are steps you can take to improve the situation and put your son or daughter on the path to recovery. Follow the advice in this guide to help your child with depression.
- 1 out of every 6 children (aged 2-8) has a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder
- 4.4% of children (aged 3-17) have been diagnosed with depression
Sadly, depression can affect anyone — and this includes children.
Over recent years, there’s been a major increase in children suffering from depression, anxiety, or a combination of both. Naturally, this isn’t good, which is why healthcare professionals are working hard to provide the best possible solutions.
5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Child with Depression
Thankfully, you’re not completely powerless as a parent. The good news is that there are many steps you can take to help your child with depression and get them back to a healthier mental state.
Here’s a closer look at the five best things you can do to help them.
Use Behavioral Health Services
Firstly, use behavioral health services that are focused on your children’s behavioral health. After putting your child on a program, they can gain access to a range of services designed to boost their emotional and behavioral well-being. Also, these services are available across different settings depending on where your child is (for example, a local hospital or school), which makes treatment for them more accessible.
If you’ve never used child behavioral health services before, they’re designed to address (and fix) any issues your child is experiencing related to depression and other mental health problems. The care is provided by trained professionals, such as psychologists and social workers, so your child is in the best hands possible.
Provide Plenty of Emotional Support
As parents, one of your main roles is to provide your children with plenty of emotional support when needed. This is especially important when one of your children has depression, as they need you more than ever.
Therefore, make sure your child understands that you’re always there for them and that (at any time) they can have an open conversation with you. Children enjoy conversations like this, so you should always leave the door open for them.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Next, you need to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
If your son or daughter is inactive and eating unhealthily, this will make their depression worse. Knowing this, you must provide them with healthy food while also ensuring they get lots of daily exercise. A good amount of exercise for a child is around 60 minutes daily, but you can always do more.
Speak to Their School
Your child might be suffering from depression due to school-related issues, such as grade pressure or bullying from other students. By speaking to their school, you can potentially uncover any problems like this. Plus, the school might have mental health services and resources for your child.
Improve Your Child’s Connections
Lastly, make a strong effort to improve your child’s connections with those around them. From setting up parties with their friends to signing them up to sports clubs, there are many things you can do to improve the situation and make your child feel more connected.