Everyone feels sad, irritable or down sometimes, and it can be difficult to tell whether a child is suffering from depression. If these feelings go on for a few weeks, parents are worried about how the child's behavior has changed, or a teacher mentions that "your child doesn't seem to be himself," take this seriously.
If a visit to the child's pediatrician rules out physical symptoms, the doctor will probably suggest that the child be evaluated, preferably by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional who specializes in the treatment of children.
A depressed child may be sad, irritable, or feel very down. He or she may have physical complaints, refuse to go to school, be hopeless, have no energy, have changes in appetite, and have thoughts about being dead.
Depression can be treated. Doctors and specialists can help.
988 has a staff of trained mental health professionals that can help callers find the most appropriate mental health and substance abuse services for their needs. Services include counseling, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, peer support, referrals to care, assistance in connecting to the referral, and follow-up services. 988 is free and confidential and operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week via phone, text, and internet chat. 988 is multilingual and multicultural.
Call or text 988. Deaf or hearing impaired callers can dial 711 then 988 (TTY).