Tips for Teaching Children With Depression

Courtesy of Shannon Steen-Larsen from

  • 1

    Understand the symptoms of depression. The symptoms include being sad, anxious or feeling empty; hopelessness; guilt; worthlessness; decreased energy level; insomnia; eating problems (eating too much or not enough); thoughts of suicide or pains and aches that are not helped with treatment.

  • 2

    Talk to the student. If you notice that a student is exhibiting depression-like symptoms, don’t just stand by. Pull the student aside in private and share your concern. Talk to the student to try to understand what he is feeling and how you can help. Express your concern for the well being and future of the student.

  • 3

    Find success in the student. Often students suffering from depression will feel inadequate, pessimistic and lack self esteem. Help build the student’s self esteem and self confidence by praising her when she does a job well. Find out where to student excels in her studies and build on it. Helping the child to build her self esteem may help her to recover from depression.

  • 4

    Get the school counselor involved. If you have a depressed student, don’t address the issue by yourself, involve the school counselor. A school counselor can talk to the child and help him recognize his feelings and how to deal with them. The school counselor is also an excellent resource for you when it comes to working with the depressed child.

  • 5

    Get the parents involved. During the day, the child is at school much of the day and the parent may not be aware that their child is depressed. Share your concerns with the child’s parents and work as a team to help the child. Give the parents frequent updates on the progression of the student in the classroom.

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