5 Effective Ways to Cope with Depressed Students
There is a notion that only adults go through depression. A teenager or an adolescent cannot possibly understand what depression means, let alone go through it. But studies suggest that there’s an alarming rise in the population of teenage students under depression, which is now close to 11% of the total teenage population. Depression among students can be irrespective of their gender, though female students are likely to suffer more from depression compared to their male counterparts.
Depression at any age or stage of life isn’t healthy and it eats away into the person’s mental and physical well-being. With the competition, peer pressure, and the pressure to perform and prove, more and more teenagers are going through depression. It hampers their ability to concentrate and learn and it even comes in the way of their daily lives and their relationships with their friends and family.
There can be numerous causes that lead to depression in students such as changes in their body and outlook towards life, the pressure to perform, lifestyle issues such as home life, losing a loved one, divorce in the family and even bullying and ragging that students face in school and college.
When in depression, students can go from becoming too quiet and going into a shell to becoming angry and erratic in their behavior. At such times, it is important to reach out to them and extend your unconditional love and support. Here are a few of the effective ways to cope with depressed students:
1. Regular Counseling
Many schools nowadays understand the importance of regular check-ins and screening for depression. The majority of students undergoing depression remain undiagnosed and untreated. Hence, counseling and regular screening should be mandatory in schools. Get students to fill questionnaires regularly that depict their frame of mind and any possible signs of anxiety or depression. Arrange regular one-on-one sessions with counselors where they can talk about their concerns or any problems they might be going through.
2. Supportive Environment
Students are at that tender age where they need love and acceptance from their family and teachers, equally. It is important to keep checking on them so that they know they are cared for. Teachers should strive to develop a genuine and an open relationship with their students, so that students can feel comfortable sharing their problems with their teachers and a solution can be chalked out for their problems.
3. Educate Them about Depression
The most effective way to deal with depressed students is to educate them about depression. Depression is considered a taboo in many cultures and people hesitate coming forward and seeking professional or medical help for their depression. Hence, it is important to educate students about depression and why it is a completely normal disease, just like other diseases. Teach them strategies to be aware of and control their emotions and mind
4. Stress Management
Stress caused due to various reasons is a major factor leading to depression in students. They should be taught various techniques that can help them manage stress.
5. Extra-curricular Activities
The pressure to perform can take its toll on young minds. It is important to let students excel in a field of their choice. Every child has his own strengths and weakness and it is wrong to compare them to their peers and friends. Students should be encouraged to choose an extra-curricular activity of their choice. It helps them focus and have something of their interest to look forward to, which helps them in diverting their minds from problems.
Students are at a very crucial crossroad in their lives where they need the love, support, and understanding of their family, elders, and teachers. It is important to observe any changes in their behavior and be there for them, through their difficult times.