Depression is very damaging when left untreated, so don't wait and hope that worrisome symptoms will go away

Depression can be very damaging when left untreated. If you suspect that your teen is depressed, bring up your concerns in a loving, non-judgmental way. Here are  ways to help a depressed teenager

Focus on listening, not lecturing. 

Resist any urge to criticize or pass judgment once your teenager begins to talk. The important thing is that your child is communicating. 

Be gentle but persistent.  
Don't give up if they shut you out at first. Talking about depression can be very tough for teens. Even if they want to, they may have a hard time expressing what they're feeling. 

Acknowledge their feelings.  

Don't try to talk your teen out of depression, even if their feelings or concerns appear silly or irrational to you. 

Trust your gut. 

If your teen claims nothing is wrong but has no explanation for what is causing the depressed behaviour, you should trust your instincts.

Combat social isolation. 

Do what you can to keep your teen connected to others. Encourage them to go out with friends or invite friends over.

For help: 

Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour 0861 435 787