Child and adolescent mental health

Depression for children and young people

We all feel anxious at times - when we move to a new school, before a big test or exam, our first date with a girlfriend or boyfriend, for example - and it's perfectly normal. But there are times when we feel our worries and fears have taken control of our lives. We just can't stop worrying about something or everything. We may have all sorts of physical symptoms - headaches, stomach aches, feeling or being sick, not being able to sleep. It may feel like we are having a heart attack. We may even wet the bed. We may not want to leave the house or go to school, or not want to be away from mum or dad. Anxiety can express itself in so many ways.  

Websites and web pages

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Childline is yours – a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, we’re here for you online, on the phone, anytime.

Everyone feels down sometimes. But if sad thoughts are stopping you from enjoying life or if you've been feeling low for a while, it's important to talk to someone.

Childline is yours – a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, we’re here for you online, on the phone, anytime.

Everyone feels down sometimes. But if sad thoughts are stopping you from enjoying life or if you've been feeling low for a while, it's important to talk to someone.

There's lots of information on depression on the CBBC Newsround website, including what depression is, why it happens and what to do if you think you are depressed.

Find out more about feeling low, depression and how it can affect you from CBBC's Lifebabbles guide to life's ups and downs.

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Working in partnership with The Children's Society, Pause, part of Forward Thinking Birmingham is advice on mental health for young people from young people. They have developed a Resource vault with advice for children and young people where you can find information about depression, including signs of depression and top tips for teens. There is also a list of apps you may find useful.

Foundry is a Canadian organisation that is transforming how young people and their families find the resources and support they need, both online and in their communities. They focus on wellness, empowering young people to live a balanced and fulfilling life. Here you will find information, self-checks, tips, apps & tools, resources and stories from other young people to do with and about low mood and depression. There is also a a self-check tool to help you identify thoughts, feelings and experiences related to depression, as well as information on substance use and depression.

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Health for Teens features bite-sized information on a comprehensive range of physical and emotional health topics. together with films and quizzes. There is information about what depression is and its warning signs, how talking to someone can really help, and a video with five ways to stay happy.

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kidshelpline is an Australian charity similar to childline in the UK. Likewise, they have a website packed with information about issues relevant to children, teens and young adults, including this page on depression for young people aged 13-18. 

The Royal College of Psychologists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the UK.

There is information on how to recognise depression, and what you can do to help yourself or someone else.

ReachOut.com is an online youth mental health service based in Ireland. It helps young people through tough times. Reflecting the need for reliable information on anything which could affect someone’s mental health, ReachOut.com supports those going through a tough time. Emphasis is placed on peer support and the principle that we all know someone going through a tough time. They engage in a space natural to most of us now – online.

They give information about depression and, If feeling depressed is starting to get in the way of you enjoying your life, there are suggestions of things you can do.

stem4 is a teenage mental health charity aimed at improving teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage. Young people have just as much right to accessing facts about good mental health as they do good physical health, and yet there is a lack of accurate information. 

There is information on how to support a friend, as well as information on symptoms and how to get help for teenagers experiencing anxiety themselves.

An interactive experience about what causes anxiety and how to manage it creatively. You make your way round a park including quizes, a maze, games and audio material; Different sections of the park look at common symptoms of stress and anxiety; how to recognise and deal with them; relaxation techniques; audio and visual experiences of young people's experiences of anxiety; and resources and links to other websites.

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The Mix is here to take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts that people under 25 have in order to give them the best support through their digital and phone services. Their Vision is that all young people should be able to make informed choices about their physical and mental wellbeing so that they can live better lives. 

Understanding mental health can be tricky but The Mix is there to make sure you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you’re worried about your mental health, or someone else’s, they have information about mental health, from anxiety and depression to self care and counselling.

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YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for a future where all children and young people are supported and empowered and to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties. They have a helpline for parents to get advice on their child’s behaviour, emotional wellbeing, or mental health, and have information booklets on a variety of topics that are free to download.

It’s really common to develop anxiety at some point. Find out here what causes it and what you can do to feel better.

Videos about anxiety

This video teaches teens how anxiety is a normal biological response – called “Fight, Flight, Freeze” – that can get triggered inappropriately in the modern world.

 

This video teaches  younger kids how anxiety is a normal biological response – called “Fight, Flight, Freeze” – that can get triggered inappropriately in the modern world.
 

This fun and humorous video book add-resses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It gives children tools to feel more in control of their anxiety.

Apps

This video explains depression and anxiety using the characters from the movie Inside out.

A child psychotherapist explains what anxiety is, why kids get it and how it works.

A teenage girl battles anxiety with her inner voice criticising everything about herself.

Resources

Relax like a cat - relaxation for children

Relax like a cat is a colourful leaflet for younger children to practice controlled breathing and muscle relaxation. It is best to sit down and read it with your mum, dad or other trusted adult at a quiet time of day when there are no worries or stresses. You can also listen to a female or male voice reading the relaxation exercises to you. 

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