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University of Reading

Understanding Depression and Low Mood in Young People

University of Reading via FutureLearn


Learn how to recognise and help with depression and low mood in young people

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 specifically created for parents of young people with depression and low mood, 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.


  • An introduction to adolescent depression
    • Welcome to the course
    • Thinking about adolescent development and what depression is (and isn’t)
    • Depression from different perspectives
    • Talking and making sense of depression
    • Review and reflect
  • The impact of lifestyle
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Intervening with daily habits
    • Appetite and eating habits
    • The role of sleep
    • Exercising for the mind as well as the body
    • Review and reflect
  • Understanding and addressing behaviour patterns in depression
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • The importance of activity monitoring
    • How does what we do affect how we feel?
    • The importance of what's important to you
    • What can parents do: Reinforcement for behaviour
    • Getting the balance right
    • Review and reflect
  • Understanding and addressing thinking patterns in adolescent depression
    • Welcome to Week 4
    • Depressive thinking in action
    • Causes and consequences of thinking errors
    • Putting thoughts on trial
    • Challenges
    • Review and reflect
  • Family life and communication, seeking further help
    • Welcome to Week 5
    • Looking after yourself
    • Family communication
    • Planning for the future
    • Monitoring progress
    • Review and finding more help

Taught by

Shirley Reynolds


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 385 ratings

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