[Trigger Warning: Suicide, Depression, Abuse.]
Teen depression is a huge problem these days, I feel way more so than when I was a kid, or at least more talked about and addressed. Coincidentally I have noticed a lot more teen suicides than I ever experienced as a teenager myself, not to say that they didn’t happen. It is so sad when a teen feels so alone and so unable to reach out for help that things like this can happen, but it does so it is important to talk about teen depression and learn the warning signs.
What are some of the warning signs for teen depression?
We all know that teens can sleep like no one else, but when you notice a huge change in their sleeping patterns it could be a concern. Seeing a huge increase in their sleeping or noticing they barely leave the bed and when they do they’re still zombies could definitely be a warning sign. Take the time to check in, maybe encourage them to go on an outing with you, take a nice drive and talk over some snacks.
Not As Busy With Friends As Usual
When you notice your teen is going from doing all the activities and always asking to be out with friends to not at all; that’s an obvious clue that something is going on. This is especially worrisome if you notice they’re not even coming over to the house like usual either. I know when I was a teen I spent many an hour in bed from time to time and definitely pulled away from friends. This is a good time to check in and see how their friend group dynamic is going, if there are no pressing issues it could be a sign your teen could be suffering from depression and not just the ups and downs of teen life.
Drastic Change In Grades
When you have a teen you can expect to see a drop in grades from time to time. It is super common, and not every parents ideal situation, it will happen and it is okay. When highschool starts there is so much going on: all the hormones, all the people, all the gossip; grades are bound to slip sometimes. But if you are noticing a huge change in their grades, and, despite help and intervention, it continues it may be a sign of something more. Especially when it is affecting classes they usually love and excel at naturally.
Getting Into Trouble More
I think I can speak from experience on this one, at one point I was just always getting into trouble. It may be cliche but it is definitely something that happens to many teens. Their whole friend groups can completely change, along with their attitude, activity interests and so much more. It could be a call out for help or just them pushing boundaries as teens do; but let them know you are there to support them and love them.
If you do see some of these changes in your teen you may want to proactively look for resources. Make sure you are armed with the best info to help you help your teen. This time of their lives is filled with so many ups and downs and we as parents should always be looking for more ways to educate ourselves in regards to mental health. Here are a bunch of amazing resources for you and your teens who may be struggling with depression.
Youth Mental Health Resources in B.C.
The Open Mind website is an incredible information source for parents, teens and teachers here in British Columbia. Doctors of BC created it as part of a policy project to promote mental health awareness among transition-age youth. Many organisations in British Columbia and across Canada are doing outstanding work in generating and disseminating mental health information to kids and their support networks.
Foundry is a network of integrated health and social support centres for young people aged 12 to 24 that spans the province. Foundry centres serve as one-stop shops for young people seeking mental health care, substance abuse treatment, primary care, social assistance, and youth and family peer support. They even have a great app that both parents and their kids can use to help them access drop-in or schedule virtual counselling appointments, find non judgemental peer support, join a group in their area or browse their endless library of tools and resources.
Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre
Kelty Mental Health provides mental health and substance use information, resources, and peer support to families across B.C. They also provide information and resources to people of all ages with an eating disorder or disordered eating concerns. All their services are free and they work through BC Children’s Hospital. Their online resources are endless and filled with priceless information, they also have podcasts versions of all their information.
Anxiety B.C. for Youth
A great resource for parents Anxiety B.C. is there to help you talk to your teens about all things anxiety. With helpful cartoons for younger kids to videos explaining exactly how anxiety can feel for many of us. Having more information in your arsenal when it comes to parenting teens and this day and age we can’t thank them enough for something like this.
B.C. Ministry of Mental Health
A free resource for families to reach out and seek the help that they are looking for, for themselves or their youth. Whether you are looking for help for yourself or someone else they have resources to get you in touch with the right people.
Kids Help Phone
More than just a number you can call in emergencies, the Kids Help Phone line has evolved to provide lots of online information. This source has great games and puzzles to help kids get in touch with what they are feeling and going through. Access to support groups for kids to help them know they aren’t alone.
Youth Hotlines for Support:
Youth in BC online chat service
Greater Vancouver • 604-872-3311
Mental Health Support • 310-6789
1-800-SUICIDE • 1-800-784-2433
With the rise in depression and suicide in teens we hope that this helps your family in only positive ways. Never be afraid to ask for help.