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Managing Childhood Depression caregiver's guide

Healthy habits—such as routines, sleep hygiene, and socializing—give children resilience to overcome depression and build mental wellness. Parents and caregivers play an important role in supporting the mental health of their children by modeling, teaching, and reinforcing these habits.

The Managing Childhood Depression worksheet describes several important habits that caregivers and their children can practice every day. Some of these behaviors may already be part of their routine, while others will offer opportunities for growth.

This handout has a secondary benefit of empowering caregivers throughout treatment. It answers the common question: “What can I do to help?”

Of course, there is no quick fix for depression. However, by establishing healthy habits, parents and caregivers can help their children develop resilience. Dedicate some time in session to follow-up with these interventions, emphasizing that long-term habits lead to gradual improvement, rather than an overnight miracle.

For tools related to the relaxation skills described in this worksheet, check out Mindfulness Activities for Children (worksheet) and Ocean Breathing (audio).

Accompanying resource for kids:

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