Mindfulness Helps Prevent Depression

By Josh Jezard

Mindfulness Helps Prevent Depression

• Children taught 'mindfulness' have lower stress levels

• Mindfulness is a meditative technique used to focus awareness on a particular thought or object

• If not managed, depression can lead to many complications

It is vital for early detection of depression in children and young people, that why it’s important for nurse’s who are potentially the first point of contact when a parent, education or social care are concerned.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced a major review of Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) early this year.

The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, cited that “Depression is one of the common mental health problems in children and young people, although it is uncommon in prepubertal children, with prevalence rates of between 1-2%. The overall lifetime and 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) for adolescents aged 13-18 is 11% and 7.5% respectively. The corresponding rate for severe depressive disorder is 3% and 2.3%. However, depressive symptoms are much more common – up to 29% of adolescents experience depressive symptoms and these are also associated with impairment and suicidality.”

A report of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Task Force recommends greater system co-ordination with a focus on liaison between schools and primary care.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that CAMHS should work with primary care professionals to develop systems for detecting, assessing and supporting children and adolescents who are depressed.

This collaboration could benefit children and adolescents from continuing depression. Studies have shown that children and adolescents who have had one episode of depression are at future risk of a further episode with continuation into adulthood, and poor psychosocial functioning. If not managed, depression can lead to many complications and may have a profound impact on the young person and their families.

NICE recommends: ‘watchful waiting’ for a period of up to four weeks as a first-line approach. If this is unsuccessful, non-directive supportive therapy, guided self-help or group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) should be offered.

It is essential that we are aware that mental health problems are common in young people, thus take the opportunity of early intervention to help improve their lives and prevent some of the serious, long-term consequences.

Do you think there is a lack of intervention regarding depression in young children and adolescents?

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