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Resources to Help Kids Thrive Newsletter

Behavioral Activation for Depression

A weekly update of content from childmind.org featuring parenting advice, in-depth articles, and the latest thinking on children’s mental health and learning disorders.

January 3, 2023

When kids are depressed, they often withdraw from activities that they normally enjoy — spending a lot of time alone in their room instead of seeing friends, for example. Not doing things that make them feel good in turn makes them more depressed. That’s why there’s a form of therapy called behavioral activation, which focuses on getting depressed children and teenagers active again as a way to improve their mood.

This week we offer a new piece exploring how behavioral activation helps depressed kids focus on things they care about doing and take steps to start doing them again. We also look at other treatments for depressionhow to tell if your teenager is depressed — not just cranky or moody — and ways to help kids get out of negative thinking spirals.

Related Resources

Behavioral Activation for Depression

How getting kids active again helps fights depression.


What Are the Symptoms of Depression in Teenagers?

Signs your child might be more than moody.


Does Social Media Use Cause Depression?

How Instagram and TikTok may be affecting kids negatively.


How to Change Negative Thinking Patterns

Recognizing unhealthy thinking errors called 'cognitive distortions.'


Treatment for Depression

What parents need to know about therapy, medication and finding a good clinician.


Cutting and Other Self-Injury

How to help kids who intentionally hurt themselves as a way to manage difficult emotions.