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HealthInfo Canterbury

Supporting a young person with depression


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:

Parents, whānau/family and caregivers are really important to the wellbeing of young people. The support they give to young people is essential.

If you're worried about a friend or family member who is depressed, try to get them to see someone who can help. Their GP is a good first choice. Other people who can help include their school counsellor, a nurse, a youth worker or a trusted family member. Offer to go an appointment with them for support.

When young people have depression, they aren't always able to ask for help. They may even refuse help at times when you can see they need it.

You can support them and help with their recovery by:

It's really important that parents, whānau/family and caregivers look after themselves and get extra support if they need it. Talk to your partner, friends, a doctor, Youthline or the Depression Helpline for ways to make supporting your child easier.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created April 2020.

See also:

Alcohol use in youth

Drug use in youth

Getting help if your child is being bullied

Healthy eating information for teens & young adults

Relationships in teens & young adults

Screen-time strategies

Sleep advice for teens

Page reference: 722909

Review key: HIDPY-49622