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Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

Aims and target audience

Depression in teenagers can be long-lasting and have wide-ranging effects. Identifying such difficulties early on and offering appropriate support is key in bringing about positive change for young people. However parents and professionals are not always aware of key signs and symptoms of depression or what to do when teenagers are faced with such difficulties.

This course will help you to recognise low mood and depression in teens, understand CBT – an evidence based treatment, discover practical techniques to help support young people and, access sources of further advice.

The course has been created for teachers and primary (or other) healthcare professionals who play a role in detecting mental health difficulties and offering appropriate support and guidance to young people.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Understand the key signs and symptoms of adolescent depression and how it may present itself
  • Identify how depression differs from low mood and other ‘normal’ mood fluctuations in teenagers
  • Describe key environmental and lifestyle factors which may contribute to depression in teenagers
  • Discuss what teenagers and carers can do to promote a healthier lifestyle within the family
  • Understand how a psychological approach can help us to better understand depression
  • Understand CBT and other key strategies that can be helpful for low mood
  • Identify how patterns of behaviour and thinking can contribute to depression in teenagers and how these can be addressed in therapy
  • Discuss the importance of good communication when supporting teenagers with depression, both within families and between families and other agencies such as schools
  • Summarise how and why breakdowns in communication occur and how to resolve these

Delivery methods and styles

This course is fully online, so learners can engage with the content in their own pace. Social learning is fundamental to the pedagogical approach of the FutureLearn platform and learners can engage with each other in the comments section throughout the course.

Knowledge and skills required of the trainers

This course has been created by:

  • Dr Monika Parkinson: Monika is a clinical psychologist & researcher. Much of her work is with parents of children & adolescents who are experiencing mental health problems.
  • Dr Michelle Lee: Michelle heads up a number of educational outreach projects and is interested in spreading knowledge about evidence-based therapies for common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression.
  • Faith Orchard: Faith is a psychologist conducting research on anxiety and depression in young people. Her work focuses on how young people develop mental health problems, and how we can prevent or treat them.
  • Shirley Reynolds: Shirley is a clinical psychologist. Most of her work has been research on depression and anxiety and how to improve treatments.
  • Laura Pass: Laura is a research clinical psychologist, with a particular interest in making treatments for young people with low mood and depression more effective and accessible.

Assessment, CPD credits, certification

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

There are quizzes throughout the course, which constitute formative assessment, so learners can evaluate their understanding of the content.

Last Updated October 31, 2022

This content was updated within the last 6 months