When I reflect on the word ‘childhood’, I conjure up images of carefree play, reckless roaming, games, friends, fun, happiness and innocence. No responsibility, no concerns, no sadness (other than those times of hearing the dreaded ‘no’ – “But I really need that lollipop!”).
A while back, when researching depression, I came across the issue of depression in children. How heartbreaking to hear that children in our society (perhaps our school, or even possibly in our own homes) are suffering from debilitating depression.
The Black Dog Institute states the following on its website:
Depression in the years up to puberty… may be linked to family difficulties, the birth of a sibling, or impacts on the child's social ties such as a move to a new house or school. Common signs of depression among children in the years up to puberty can include:
· a prolonged sad mood
· a loss of interest in normal activities such as playing and games
· withdrawal both at home and school
· uncharacteristic behaviours such as stealing or bullying
· tiredness, particularly in the afternoon
· sleep disturbance
· bed wetting.
The good news is that children who suffer from depression can be helped and many do not experience further depressive episodes later in life. How wonderful would it be to see all children enjoying the fun, carefree and happy childhoods they deserve.
‘Bailey Beats the Blah’ is a picture book by Karen Tyrrell (a local Brisbane writer), advocating good mental health and helpful strategies for kids. It is a realistic and
uplifting story about Bailey’s struggle to change his BLAH to HA HA HA. A great resource for kids!
For more information check out the Kids Help Line link below.