6 Resources for Depressed Teens That Every Parent Should Know About

teen depressionTeens are known for being moody creatures, but in some kids, that moodiness is a sign of something much more serious: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2014, an estimated 2.8 million adolescents in the US had at least one major depressive episode in the past year (that's 11.4 percent of the US population aged 12 to 17). 


That's especially troubling when you consider that nearly one in six high school students has seriously considered suicide -- with one in 12 attempting it -- according to data from the CDC.

But even though teen mental health is clearly an issue deserving of attention, it can be hard to find the help that kids -- and their families -- need. (Sadly, the same can be said of tracking down support for depressed individuals of any age.) And feeling like you don't know how to help your suffering kid is a horrible place for any parent to be. That's why we've put together a list of resources for depressed teens, from hotlines and information on where to get treatment to helpful tools for kids in managing negative emotions.

Erika's Lighthouse

A nonprofit "dedicated to educating and raising awareness about adolescent depression, encouraging good mental health and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues," Erika's Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression was founded in 2004 after Virginia and Thomas Neuckranz lost their daughter Erika to the illness of depression. The website features info on recognizing and treating depression in kids as well as a "teen depression toolbox" with tips for coping with the condition.

Your Life Your Voice

Part of the Boys Town National Hotline, YourLifeYourVoice.org gives troubled kids a way to call, text, email, or chat with counselors when they're feeling overwhelmed. There's even an app for tracking thoughts and moods.

Half of Us

From the Jed Foundation and mtvU, Half of Us uses the stories of celebs like Mary J. Blige and Pete Wentz (along with personal tales of students) to spread awareness about mental illness; the website also offers tips for coping and finding treatment.

More from CafeMom: 7 Signs Your Teen May Be Depressed

You Matter 

Created by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, You Matter gives struggling adolescents a safe place to blog about their experiences and read about others going through similar challenges. 

The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the makers of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevorthe Trevor Project offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ individuals ages 13–24, including access to counselors through free text and chat services and a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week hotline.

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

After friends Scott Fritz and Don Quigley both lost teenage children to suicide, they started the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide in 2005 with the aim of reducing youth suicides by encouraging public awareness through the development and promotion of educational training programs. Teens can access an all-hours lifeline through the website, as well as ask experts questions and find other helpful resources; there are resources for parents and educators, too.



Image via Ryan Melaugh/Flickr

Read More >