New ebooklet available – Working with children who are depressed (and helping prevent depression)

May 17, 2019

Depression is a mental illness that negatively affects thinking, perceptions, emotions and behaviours. The impact of depression on a child is more severe than any other mental health disorder. [1] Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR (2015) The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report … Continue reading

This ebooklet provides a brief overview of depression and how to help prevent depression.

The lead up to depression may go undetected. Knowing the primary signs such as sadness, feelings of hopelessness and mood changes are critical to early intervention. However, prevention is always better than cure. Teachers and other adults at school can play a key role in helping to prevent, reduce or moderate a child’s negative feelings.

For some students, school interactions provide the only positive adult connections they have on a daily basis. Children will often turn to these adults when they are worried, anxious or feeling unwell.

The ebooklet contains a wide range of strategies teachers and other school professionals can use to assist the child in the classroom. Strategies can be easily adapted to be included in student’s Individual Learning Plans and psychologist’s reports.

Strategies to help prevent depression

  • Classroom routines and organisation
  • De-escalate worry, tension and anxiety
  • Encourage engagement and connectedness
  • Build participation, elements of fun and ‘having-a-go’

If you suspect the child might be depressed

  • General strategies
  • Some tips on speaking to the child

Strategies to support the child diagnosed with depression

  • Collaborate with others professionally
  • Make reasonable classroom allowances
  • Reduce the load on working memory
  • Provide more positive than negative feedback
  • Incorporate movement into classes
  • Provide classroom help-seeking activities
  • Promote help-seeking behaviours at a school-wide level
  • Create a plan to catch up academically
  • Suicide and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)
  • Final statement


These strategies are designed for use with students in primary and junior secondary schools.

The ebooklet Working with children who are depressed (and helping prevent depression) is available free to download for all Psych4Schools members or for individual sale in our shop.

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