This Mālama Ola Minute focuses on teen depression and suicide prevention. Learn some positive parenting practices, including how to talk to your teen about anxiety and depression, in this column brought to you by the KS Health Services Department - Mālama Ola (To Care for Life).
Depression is common among youth and is a significant factor impacting child well-being and academic success. In 2017 in Hawaiʻi, approximately one in three high school students statewide had periods of feeling sad or hopeless. One in six students seriously thought about suicide, and one in 10 attempted suicide. The rates are even higher for middle school students.
At KS, we understand the need for supporting the mental health of our haumāna to help them be successful both at school and in life. To better address our students’ mental health needs, we increased the number of behavioral health professionals on campus, implemented depression screening in students who visit middle or high school health rooms, and increased engagement with ʻohana. We also developed a protocol for assessing students with suicidal ideation that includes an assessment by a contracted psychiatrist if necessary.
Signs that a child may be depressed:
Here are some behavior changes that could indicate depression:
Talking to your teen about anxiety and depression:
Here are some questions that can help start a conversation with your child:
How to help a suicidal teen:
Following are some recommendations for helping suicidal teens from Mental Health America, a national leader in mental health support, recovery and advocacy:
LEARN MORE ABOUT TEEN DEPRESSION AND HOW TO GET HELP
For a comprehensive list of crisis supports, see the Mālama Ola Student and ‘Ohana Resources web page. For additional support, please contact an on-campus KS behavioral health professional.