Childhood Depression: 4 Helpful Things You Can Say

Improving our individual and collective health and wellness is essential to our survival. Let’s choose to survive. Let’s move! – Michelle Obama

There are some kids who can feel isolated during the summer and beginning of the school year for a variety of reasons. Childhood depression and suicide is real yet we aren’t talking about it or providing resources to help families. Let’s start with some tips on how children and families can help friends/loved ones who are showing signs of being suicidal or depressed. As we prepare to start school, let’s be proactive about supporting and helping children who have been neglected and /or are suffering from depression.

4 Helpful Things You Can Say to a Suicidal or Depressed Friend

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Talking to someone struggling with severe depression or suicidal thoughts can feel intimidating. It’s hard to know what to do. Here’s what to say to someone who reaches out for help.

They were celebrities at the pinnacle of achievement in their fields. Legions of fans and industry insiders worldwide respected them, yet both took their own lives last week. No one is immune from suicidal thoughts  not even a successful public figure like Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade. Suicide and depression know no boundaries of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin. Statistically, it’s likely you know at least one person who struggles with suicidal thoughts. In a typical high school classroom of 20 students, at least 3 have seriously considered taking their lives in the past year.

What to say when a depressed friend reaches out?

This concerns most of us who question our ability to respond to someone in need. Will we know what to say if that friend, neighbor, or student reaches out to us? Will we be able to help?

As a trusted confidant, you can show someone who’s struggling you care.

Pam McNall is Founder and CEO of Respectful Ways, an online social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum for PreK-12. Respectful Ways educates students on social skills and emotional intelligence using custom-tailored SEL curriculum based on specific behavioral issues at your school, camp or afterschool program. Using project-based learning (PBL) and innovative research-based activities, the online modules capture imaginations with original hip hop and pop-culture trends to engage today’s youth.

Check out these reminders from EdLanta!

  • Find free summer programs or camps in your community or recommended summer programs from your child’s school.
  • Watch what your children are watching not just on television but on social media
  • Have the conversations about bullying, physical appearance, being teased at school, eating healthy, building relationships with others, etc.
  • Don’t just say, “oh my child is just quiet”, talk to them and be sure 

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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