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Review of what’s been covered

Article recapping the topics covered in Week 1 of 'Understanding Low Mood & Depression in Young People' and providing additional resources.
© University of Reading

In this week, we’ve highlighted the main signs and symptoms of depression and how to tease these apart from more ‘normal’ adolescent behaviour.

We’ve heard from young people and parents (and from each other in the discussion forums) about the experience of living with depression. We’ve also started to think about the causes of depression, and how these difficulties might be maintained by exploring a CBT model of depression. We’ve emphasised the importance of seeking help and given some guidance about how best to do this, and what treatment options might look like.

We’d like you to take a moment at the end of this week to watch a short clip below ‘Journey Through the Shadows’’, which has been made with parents who have cared for their teenager with depression and have emerged the other side. When watching the clip please try to remember that you’re not alone in your struggles. Fellow parents taking this course and others offline are facing similar challenges every day. We hope that in the weeks to come, the information provided here and support within discussion forums will go some way in providing you with the support that you need to care for and support your young person.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.


See below for a list of relevant resources used in this Week. We’ll provide a comprehensive list of all resources and further reading which can be downloaded at the end of the course.


Am I Depressed And What Can I Do About It? by Reynolds, S. & Parkinson, M. (2015). A CBT self-help guide for teenagers experiencing low mood and depression.

Teenage Depression: A CBT Guide For Parents by Parkinson, M. & Reynolds, S. (2015). Help your child beat their low mood. An indispensable guide for parents of a depressed teenager.

Parent-Led CBT for Child Anxiety Helping Parents Help Their Kids Creswell,C., Parkinson, M., Thirlwall, K., Willetts, L. (2016). This innovative, research-based book shows clinicians how to teach parents cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to use with their 5- to 12-year-old.



  • Childline: 0800 11 11. Free confidential 24-hr helpline for young people up to 19yrs old.
  • Samaritans: 116 123 Free confidential 24-hour helpline.


  • Befrienders Worldwide. Befrienders is a worldwide charity which provides information about mental health difficulties and offers emotional support through helplines.
  • YoungMinds Offers information and support around mental health difficulties to young people and their parent.
  • Harmless A user led organisation that provides a range of services about self harm including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends and families and professionals.
  • NICE The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Royal College of Psychiatrists website offers information for anyone who wants to know more about mental health.
  • The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health is a registered charity which promotes the advancement of child & adolescent mental health. The charity aims to raise standards in the understanding and management of child mental health issues. They also run a variety of conferences, training events, special interest groups and master classes to aid the professional development of all those working to support the mental health of children and young people.
  • International Association for Suicide Prevention provides suicide prevention resources, guides and information.
  • is a suicide prevention, awareness and support website.


  • The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain. Why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically “teenage” behaviour is caused by the growing and developing brain.
  • Facing Shadows. In April 2015, seven young people who had been to a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for help with their depression came together, with the aim of making a short, animated film about what it is like to suffer from depression as a teenager.
  • Depression and low mood. Visit to find out about the experience of depression and low mood in young people by seeing and hearing young people share their personal stories on film.
  • Journey through the shadows. This short film describes the experience of three parents whose children were referred to a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for help with their depression.
© University of Reading
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Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

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