Depression in Young People: Resources and Advice
Below is a comprehensive list of resources about depression and low mood in young people. We want you to remember that you aren’t alone in your struggles. We hope the information provided here will go some way in providing you with the help that you need to care for and support your young person.
- Action Creates Emotion. Psychology Today. 2010.
- The Best Way to Fight With a Teenager. The New York Times. 2016.
- Beck’s cognitive triad. Wikipedia. 2017.
- Children’s mental health is parents’ top concern. Mental Health Today. 2015.
- Healthy Eating and Nutrition for the Whole Family. HuffPost. 2016.
- How to make small changes that last. Psychologies. 2014.
- Parent and teenager conflict. The Guardian. 2009.
- Why teenagers need quality time with their parents more than toddlers do. The Telegraph. 2015.
- You Probably Use Your Smartphone Way More Than You Think. HuffPost UK . 2015.
- 10 things never to say to a teenager. The Guardian. 2009.
Want to keep
University of Reading online course,
Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People
- Am I Depressed And What Can I Do About It? by Reynolds, S. & Parkinson, M. (London: Robinson, 2015). A CBT self-help guide for teenagers experiencing low mood and depression.
- Cool Connections with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Encouraging Self-Esteem, Resilience and Well-Being in Children and Young People Using CBT Approaches by Seiler, L. (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008). An engaging workbook that provides a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach to positively modifying the everyday thoughts and behaviours of children and young people aged 9 to 14.
- Overcoming Depression: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques by Gilbert, P. (London: Constable & Robinson, 2009). A self-help manual full of step-by-step suggestions, case examples and practical ideas for taking control of depression and low mood.
- Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, 2nd ed.: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques by Fennell. M. (London: Robinson, 2016). A guide on how to overcome difficulties with low self-esteem, a common problem for many young people.
- Overcoming Teenage Low Mood and Depression: A Five Areas Approach by Dummett, N., Williams, C. (CRC Press, 2012). A collection of practical and effective self-help workbooks developed in liaison with a team of experts working with young people.
- Overcoming Worry: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Mears, K., Freeston, M. (London: Constable & Robinson, 2008). Step-by-step guides to self-improvement that introduce the methods of the highly regarded cognitive behavioural therapy technique.
- Overcoming Your Child’s Fears and Worries: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Creswell, C. and Willetts, L. (London: Constable & Robinson, 2007). A self-help guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques aimed at children up to 12–13 years old, but packed full of helpful strategies that can be adapted for older children with anxiety.
- Parent-Led CBT for Child Anxiety Helping Parents Help Their Kids by Creswell,C., Parkinson, M., Thirlwall, K., Willetts, L. (Guildford Press, 2016). This innovative, research-based book shows clinicians how to teach parents cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to use with their 5- to 12-year-old.
- Teenage Depression: A CBT Guide For Parents by Parkinson, M. & Reynolds, S. (London: Robinson, 2015). Help your child beat their low mood. An indispensable guide for parents of a depressed teenager.
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman, D. (Penguin, 2012). The book summarizes research that Kahneman conducted over decades, often in collaboration with Amos Tversky. It covers all three phases of his career: his early days working on cognitive biases, his work on prospect theory, and his later work on happiness.
|Bullying UK||0808 800 2222||Every day 7am-midnight; calls diverted to the Samaritans at other times. Advice and support for anyone affected by bullying|
|Childline||0800 11 11||24-hours. Free confidential helpline for young people up to 19yrs old|
|Cruse||0844 477 9400||Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm and until 8pm Tuesday & Thursday. Offering support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.|
|Family Lives||0808 800 2222||Support, advice and help available from trained family support workers|
|FRANK||0300 123 6600||24-hours. Confidential information and advice about drugs, offering online chat as well as a texting service.|
|Hope Again||0808 808 1677||Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:00pm. A national charity that provides support, advice and information to young people|
|Papyrus HOPELineUK||0800 068 41 41||Monday-Friday, 10am-10pm and Saturday-Sunday, 2pm-5pm. Free confidential helpline for anyone concerned about a young person at risk of harming themselves.|
|Mind||0300 123 3393||Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm. Advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem|
|The Mix||0808 808 4994||24-hours. Free, confidential help for a wide range of issues for young people under 25.|
|NSPCC||0808 800 5000||24-hours. Information and helpline for anyone concerned about a young person.|
|ReThink||0300 500 0927||Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm. Advice service offers help on living with mental illness, medication, care and treatment.|
|Samaritans||116 123||24-hours. Free confidential helpline.|
|SANE||0300 304 7000||4.30pm-0.30pm daily. Helpline for anyone affected by mental illness|
|Young Minds Parents’ helpline||0808 802 5544||Monday-Friday, 9.30am-4pm. Helpline for confidential, expert advice.|
- COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression is a free 2-week course is full of useful, practical advice to help young people manage low mood and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
- Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT is a free 5-week course which explains two of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders, anxiety and depression. The course dispels common myths and stereotypes, and introduces an effective treatment for anxiety and depression called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or ‘CBT’.
- Armitage S, Parkinson M, Halligan S, Reynolds, S. (2020). Mothers’ Experiences of Having an Adolescent Child with Depression: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29:16. pp. 17-1629.
- Gregory, A. M., Sadeh A. (2016). Annual Research Review: Sleep problems in childhood psychiatric disorders – a review of the latest science. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 57(3), 296–317
- Gunlicks, M.L., & Weissman, M.M. (2008). Change in Child Psychopathology With Improvement in Parental Depression: A Systematic Review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47:4. pp. 379-389. Please note this study is behind a paywall.
- Jacka, F. N., Kremer, P. J., Leslie, E. R., Berk, M., Patton, G. C., Toumbourou, J. W., & Williams, J. W. (2010). Associations between diet quality and depressed mood in adolescents: results from the Australian Healthy Neighbourhoods Study. Australian & New Zealand journal of psychiatry, 44(5), 435-442. Please note this study is behind a paywall.
- Jacka, F. N., Rothon, C., Taylor, S., Berk, M., & Stansfeld, S. A. (2013). Diet quality and mental health problems in adolescents from East London: a prospective study. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 48(8), 1297-1306. Please note this study is behind a paywall.
- Orchard, F., Pass, L. and Reynolds, S. (2016) Associations between interpretation bias and depression in adolescents. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 40 (4). pp. 577-583.
- Orchard, F., Pass, L., Marshall, T., & Reynolds, S. (2017). Clinical characteristics of adolescents referred for treatment of depressive disorders. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 22(2), 61-68.
- Orchard, F., Pass, L. and Reynolds, S. (2016) ‘It Was All My Fault’: negative interpretation bias in depressed adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44 (5). pp. 991-998.
- Pass, L., Lejuez, C. W., & Reynolds, S. (2017). Brief Behavioural Activation (Brief BA) for Adolescent Depression: A Pilot Study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 1-13
- Stapley, E., Midgley, N., & Target, M. (2015). The Experience of Being the Parent of an Adolescent with a Diagnosis of Depression. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25 (2) pp. 618-630. Please note this journal article is behind a pay wall.
- Depression and low mood. Visit HealthTalk.org 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.
- 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.
- Guardian “Point of View”. A short video illustrating an example of a thinking error.
- 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.
- Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain. 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.
Further information, support and advice
- Association for Young People’s Health. AYPH brings together professionals and organisations working to improve young people’s health and wellbeing.
- The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. A charity raising understanding and management of child mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
- Befrienders Worldwide. Providing emotional support to prevent suicide worldwide.
- CAHMS. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services refers to all services that work with children and young people experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
- CAMH. The information resource for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
- Charlie Waller Trust. Charity organisation committed to raising awareness about depression and mental health problems in young people. Offers useful information and further contacts, and brief parent guide.
- Cruse. Support and helpline for bereaved people and those caring for bereaved people.
- International Association for Suicide Prevention provides suicide prevention resources, guides and information.
- Family Lives. Dedicated organisation supporting parents and different aspects of family life. Support, advice and help available from trained family support workers.
- Harmless. Support for people who self-harm, and support for the families and friends of those who self-harm.
- Mental Elf Service. A mental health blog for you to keep up-to-date with all of the important and reliable mental health research and guidance.
- Mental Health Foundation. Charity providing information about mental health.
- Mind. Information on mental health problems and treatments.
- MindEd. A free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults.
- NHS Choices. Information from the National Health Service on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living.
- NetMums. A useful thread – how do you spend quality time with teenagers without spending money.
- NICE. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.
- NSPCC. Information and helplines for anyone concerned about a young person.
- Papyrus UK. Advice and support for young people dealing with self-harm and emotional distress and for parents or those who are worried about them.
- Rethink. Information and helpline for anyone affected by mental health problems.
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Information for young people and parents about mental health and a range of related topics. See pages: Parents and Young People, Mental Health Information for All, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- SANE A leading UK mental health charity. Working to improve quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness.
- Social Services (UK only) Support for young people and families affected by a range of difficulties or for anyone concerned about the welfare of a young person. Find your local service via your council website or in the local directory.
- Students Against Depression. Information, support and self-help ideas.
- YoungMinds Information, advice, support and helplines for young people affected by mental health problems, and their parents.
The Eatwell Guide by NHS Choices.
Food fact sheet by The Association of UK Dieticians.
Mindfulness and wellbeing
- Be Mindful. Information about how mindfulness can reduce depression, anxiety and stress.
- The Compassionate Mind Foundation. Promoting wellbeing through compassion.
- Mindful Youth Information about mindfulness young people.
- GET Self Help. Free worksheets and CBT tools.
- Living Life to the Full. A range of booklets, worksheets and computer-based self-help modules.
- Mood Gym. Free web-based Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) programme.
- Mood Juice. A self-help site full of resources for dealing with depression, anxiety and other difficulties.
UK professional organisations
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. BACP’s primary purpose is to support counsellors and help them better serve their clients.
- British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). Organisation providing information about CBT and accreditation of CBT therapists. Register of practising therapists in your area.
- Health & Care Professions Council. A regulator of health and care professionals.
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Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People
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