Childhood mental illness is more common than most parents think. Research shows 15 million children are currently diagnosed with a mental illness, with even more children at risk for developing mental illness later in life. Adolescence increases the risk for mental illness and especially depression, with 11% of teens experiencing a depressive disorder by age 18 (8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, pp. 56-7). With mental illness and depression, suicidal thoughts and intents may arise. As parents, it’s crucial we learn all we can about childhood depression, mental illness, and suicide so we can listen to, understand, and help our children heal. My guest for this important episode is Lynn Keane, mom, suicide prevention advocate, author, and TEDX speaker on “We Need to Talk About Suicide Prevention.” As Lynn shares some of her personal experience as a mother, we explore the symptoms of childhood depression, how to identify mental illness in children and get them, and all of us, talking about it. Together, we can prevent suicide, and we can treat and heal from childhood mental illness.
For more on this topic, check out my articles, “Childhood Depression—Understanding, Coping, Healing: A Guide for Parents,” and “Breaking the Silence about Suicide, Grief, & Family Healing.”