Secondary School – Low Mood & Depression – Short description
What is low mood and what is depression?
It is often described as feeling like the enjoyment and fun has gone out of life. It can appear spontaneously but is usually triggered by something such as a stressful situation or life changing event. Where low mood is different and distinct from depression is how severe its impact is on a young person and how long it persists.
How to identify low mood and more serious presentations?
For younger people it is important to be aware that they may not have the language to express themselves and emotions. In the absence of a young person not being able to tell us themselves how they are feeling; we can look at the other aspects of how they present themselves such as their behaviours or physical wellbeing (e.g., impaired memory, less enjoyment from activities, avoiding situations, complaining of aches and pains).
What can teachers do to improve and support people with low mood or depression?
If you notice a pattern of the signs mentioned above (for example frequent self-criticism or low energy), then it is important to talk to them. Don’t be afraid to ask them if everything is ok and if anything is worrying them, these simple steps can often facilitate conversations that can lead to a young person receiving help.