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Welcome to Week 3

Watch Professor Shirley Reynolds introduce Week 3, which looks at behaviour and the cycles that young people can get stuck in.
Hello, again. In this third Week, we’re going to focus on the role of behaviour in depression. This is because what we see when people are depressed is that their behaviour changes really very obviously. What really often happens is that people do less and less. And so if you’ve got a teenager at home, you’ll see that they will be much less active around the house, and they’ll probably spend a lot more time in their room. If you’re a teacher in a school you might notice a young person become more withdrawn, spend less time with their friends, and be less actively involved in the classroom. So as parents and teachers, it’s important to provide a very structured and supportive environment.
This week, that’s what we’re going to focus on. How can you, as an adult, help somebody, a young person who’s depressed, to do a little bit more of all the things that matter to them? Those small changes will begin to show improvements in mood and changes in behaviour. And as behaviour changes, mood will improve, and the whole thing becomes a virtuous cycle of improvement. It can be very difficult to live or work alongside people who are depressed and particularly difficult if these are young people that you’re trying to help and guide along the way.
So one of the things we want to focus on this week is to think about how to resolve the kind of conflicts that can sometimes arise, the difficult feelings and discussions that arise. We’ll talk a bit about that this Week, and we’ll also give you an opportunity to share your thoughts and your tips with other people who are doing the course alongside you.

Hello and welcome to Week 3. This week we’ll be focusing on behaviour, and the cycles that young people can get stuck in that maintain depression symptoms.

We’ll also be looking at how parents, professionals and other adults can help encourage teenagers into more helpful, positive cycles of behaviour, and how making changes in what they do can really make a difference to how they think and feel.

Often it’s helpful to think about our own behaviour too, so we’ll be exploring how parents and professionals can respond to young people’s behaviour in ways that will also help break the vicious cycle of low mood.

Last week, we asked you to complete an activity log for yourself over two separate days, and rate your Achievement, Closeness, Enjoyment and Importance for each activity. If you haven’t filled in your log yet, why not complete one now for the last two days?

We’ll be looking at this shortly so please keep it to hand.

Course tip

Don’t forget that between 16 November and 18 December, Dr Michelle Lee and your course mentors, Laura and Will, will be supporting the course discussions. Click on the link in their profile to follow them.

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Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

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