Teen Depression (cont.)

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What can family members and friends do to help a depressed teen?

Family members and friends are advised to seek and encourage the depressed teen to receive mental-health evaluation and treatment. Family members may consult with the teen's primary-care doctor or seek mental-health services by contacting one of the resources identified below. Friends of the depression sufferer sometimes think that they would be betraying their friend's confidence by notifying the depressed teen's parents, teachers, school counselor, or other school personnel about their friend's troubles. The potential risk of their friend's sadness worsening and even ending in suicide or homicide far outweighs the risk of the depressed teen feeling betrayed.

Once the depressed youth is in treatment, family members can help encourage good mental health by gently encouraging him or her to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Examples of that include encouraging the teen to maintain a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, participate in regular exercise, and engage in appropriate stress-management activities. Friends can encourage the depressed peer to remain socially active rather than becoming isolated. Both family and friends can be helpful to the depressed teen by discouraging their loved one from using alcohol or other drugs or otherwise engaging in risky behaviors.

Where can teens get support for depression?

American Association of Suicidology

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Jason Foundation

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
2101 Wilson Boulevard Suite 302
Arlington, VA 22201
HelpLine: 800-950-NAMI [6264]

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
800-273-TALK (8255)

National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center
866-SAFEYOUTH (1-866-723-3968)
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern time

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network (Span)

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program


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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2015

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