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HealthInfo Canterbury

About depression in youth & teens

This information is about depression in youths and teens. Read more about depression in adults, depression in older adults, postnatal depression.

About depression

One in five teenagers is affected by a mental health problem.

Depression is the most common of the mental health problems that is experienced. It often begins in adolescence or early adulthood.

Depression can be a serious illness. It is more than just feeling low. Young people with depression feel sad and miserable most of the time. They stop enjoying life and lose interest in things that were fun when they were well. Quite often the signs of depression are overlooked in this age group as they are thought to be "just part of growing up". Many young people miss out on help because of this.


At times, suicide might seem like a solution to depression. If you or a friend is considering acting on suicidal thoughts and needs help, phone the Depression Helpline on 0800‑111‑757 or txt 4202 (available 24/7), or phone Youthline 0800‑37-66-33 or txt 234 (available 24/7). Or you can contact your local mental health crisis team:

On the next page: Living with depression for youth

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2018.

Page reference: 496685

Review key: HIDPY-49622