Online course in Health & Psychology

Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

Understand how to recognise depression and low mood in teenagers and learn how to help.

Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

  • Duration 5 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours

Learn how to recognise and help with depression and low mood in young people

Depression in teenagers can be long-lasting and have wide-ranging effects. Identifying such difficulties early on and offering appropriate support is key in bringing about positive change for young people. However parents and professionals are not always aware of key signs and symptoms of depression or what to do when teenagers are faced with such difficulties.

This course will help you to recognise low mood and depression in teens, understand CBT – an evidence based treatment, discover practical techniques to help support young people and, access sources of further advice.

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1: What does problematic low mood and depression look like?

  • Recognising the symptoms and causes of depression in young people

  • The impact on parents and carers

  • Understanding self-harm and minimising risk

  • Seeking help and treatment options

Week 2: Healthy habits for young people

  • Identifying the foundations of good mental health

  • Exploring the importance of sleep, eating, and physical activity

Week 3: Doing more of what matters

  • Introducing the concept of behavioural activation for young people

  • How to monitor activity and increase valued activities to get more reward from life

  • How to manage different views of what is a valued activity

  • Giving positive reinforcement and rewards

Week 4: Challenging thoughts

  • How thinking tricks us and keeps us stuck in low mood

  • Challenging thoughts

  • Helping your child find the facts, face the facts

  • Understanding that adults have negative thoughts too

Week 5: Family Communication & Self-Care, Planning for the Future and Getting More Help

  • Looking after yourself

  • Managing conflict

  • Dealing with communication problems and stress

  • Planning for the future, dealing with setbacks and solving problems

  • Getting more help

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Understand the key signs and symptoms of adolescent depression and how it may present itself.
  • Identify how depression differs from low mood and other 'normal' mood fluctuations in teenagers.
  • Describe key environmental and lifestyle factors which may contribute to depression in teenagers.
  • Discuss what teenagers and carers can do to promote a healthier lifestyle within the family.
  • Understand how a psychological approach can help us to better understand depression.
  • Understand CBT and other key strategies that can be helpful for low mood.
  • Identify how patterns of behaviour and thinking can contribute to depression in teenagers and how these can be addressed in therapy.
  • Discuss the importance of good communication when supporting teenagers with depression, both within families and between families and other agencies such as schools.
  • Summarise how and why breakdowns in communication occur and how to resolve these.

Who is the course for?

The course has been specifically created for parents of young people with depression and low mood, teachers and primary (or other) healthcare professionals who play a role in detecting mental health difficulties and offering appropriate support and guidance to young people.

Who will you learn with?

Shirley Reynolds

Shirley Reynolds

I'm a clinical psychologist. Most of my work has been research on depression and anxiety and how to improve treatments. We need to make effective treatment available to everyone @DrS_Reynolds

Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee

I head up a number of educational outreach projects and am interested in spreading knowledge about evidence-based therapies for common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression.

Laura Pass

Laura Pass

I am a research clinical psychologist, with a particular interest in making treatments for young people with low mood and depression more effective and accessible.

Faith Orchard

Faith Orchard

I am a psychologist conducting research on anxiety and depression in young people. My work focuses on how young people develop mental health problems, and how we can prevent or treat them.

Monika Parkinson

Monika Parkinson

I'm a Clinical Psychologist & researcher. Much of my work is with parents of children & adolescents who are experiencing mental health problems. I’m passionate about supporting and empowering parents.

Who developed the course?

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.