World Mental Health Day 2021: How to avoid depression in kids and teens

World Mental Health Day 2021: How to avoid depression in kids and teens
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Warning: Some may feel that the following content is triggering.

Disclaimer: This story is not to be taken as medical advice.

While depression is quite common in adults, it does not spare kids and teens too. Childhood and teenage are crucial stages replete with several challenges like schooling, facing exams, combating peer pressure and societal expectations, and going through puberty.

Several changes connected to childhood and teenage can cause depression and stress in some children. Keeping track of children’s mental well-being is a crucial responsibility every parent must discharge with the best care.

While depression can be mentally debilitating in children that can severely affect their happiness and performance, finding out the signs of depression in children and teens is crucial to prevent it before it gets worse and concerning.

Here are a few tips to parents given by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent depression in kids commemorating the World Mental Health Day 2021.


What parents need to know about depression in children and teens

Though depression is rare in children compared to adults, it is not uncommon for kids to experience emotional problems. However, depression is quite common among older children and teenagers.

Some of the signs of an emotional problem faced by your child can be headache, stomach ache, withdrawal from you, and persistent crying. Depressed children might appear to have lost interest in playing, appear irritable and can experience difficulties in concentrating.

When you find your kid depressed, understand that it is quite normal and can be prevented and treated. Here we discuss the tips given by WHO to help children fight depression effectively and also to prevent it.

Tips to tackle depression in kids and teens

When you feel your child might be facing depression, the first thing to do is to ask how he or she is feeling and find out what could be worrying them.

During some crucial moments like starting school, exams and puberty, pay special attention to how your kids are faring and ensure they are comfortable with the changes they are undergoing.

Motivate your children to be regular with their eating and sleeping routines and to be physically active. Engaging in activities they usually enjoy can bring them some respite and help in escaping depression.

Never leave the kids alone especially when they are depressed. Spend time with them and give them a hint that you care for them and that they are important to you.

If you find the depressive state in your kid unmanageable or concerning, do not hesitate to seek professional help from mental health experts as they are well-equipped to suggest the right way out.

Shield your kids from situations that can put undue stress on them. Protect them from violence and maltreatment in their environment.

If you notice signs of self-harm in your kid, seek expert help from emergency services or health care professionals. Remove firearms, sharp objects and medicines from their vicinity.

Take home

When it comes to fighting and preventing depression in kids and teens, parents have a bigger role to play. The best thing to avoid depression in these stages of life is to spend time with children regularly and keep a close watch to find out any signs of stress and depression in them before they get worse. Instilling a sense of being wanted and cared for is the most effective way to prevent depression in kids and teens.

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