I want to develop a practical plan a mother who has a troubled adolescent can implement to help her and her adolescent survive this time.

The increasing number of young people with depression worries me immensely. My son had a major battle with depression in his late teens and as his mother I felt so helpless in helping him through this period of his life. At this time often it is a case of just survival day to day until a bit of maturity helps the situation and hopefully those troubled years are often behind you with the aid of medication and counselling. As a mother I always felt helpless and in need of a plan! So how do you survive this time with a straightforward practical plan with some ideas for how you can help day to day. I noticed somethings can sometimes improve how you and your teen feel on a given day and sometime later I did a course on positive psychology. If only I had known some of these techniques and ideas before! Using these positive psychology ideas and other ones I think it would be useful for a parent to be armed with these skills by having an actual practical plan in place. I would like to develop a practical program that could help families to assist a depressed teen. This program would incorporate as an example doing particular things every week. It may incorporate simple and often quite short activities. Some suggestions of activities might be: Monday – watch an inspirational movie, eg. Eddie the Eagle (provide a list of many good inspirational movies and make them readily and easily accessible), Tuesday – cook a cake together, Wednesday – take some photographs of something you both enjoy and talk about it, Thursday - do a random act of kindness together for an elderly or homeless person, Friday – learn to recognise a particular species of bird in your garden and talk about it, Saturday – the positive psychology exercise in “counting your blessings”. I think as a mother you need a plan! Some practical ideas that are easy to do that can break the pattern of sadness and make you think of the happy things in your life and shift the focus from inwards to the world around us. A means of making an effort to lift the mood every day. I would like to see a practical program like this in place to help break the pattern of sadness that parents can easily implement.

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