Back to School Tips for Parent's With Children Who Suffer From Depression

Teri Robert Health Guide
  • If you have school-age children with depression, it's that time. The time when the weather says it's still summer, but the calendar says the start of the school year is nearly upon us. It's time to by school clothes and supplies, check on class and bus schedules, and deal with seemingly endless other details.


    For children with depression, seeing to these details as early as possible can be especially important. It makes them feel more secure and leaves fewer things to worry about. In addition to the "standard" details, having a child with depression presents other issues that you need to investigate and handle.

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    Going to school for the first time or changing schools is stressful for any child, but may be especially difficult for a child with depression. Make opportunities for your child to express himself or herself and talk to you about concerns and expectations. Keep in mind that children pick up on our feelings. If you're anxious, they're more likely to be anxious. If your child sees a counselor or therapist, check with them to see if they want a session about school with your child and to see if they have suggestions for you regarding things to do or things to discuss with your child.


    These are issues and details you may or may not need to consider, depending on your child's particular situation and needs. Some are general issues every parent should check out:

    • Check to see if your child needs a letter regarding any health issues he or she may have or any medical records, including immunization records, to take to school.
    • If your child participates in any sports, does he or she need to have a physical before school starts?
    • Check with your child's school regarding their attendance policy...
      • What and how many absences are excused with a note from parents?
      • What necessitates a note from the child's doctor?
      • When a child has a chronic illness, is the absence policy different if there's a letter on file from the doctor?
      • Is there a maximum number of days beyond which absence from school results in failing grades or problems moving on to the next grade level?
    • Check with your child's school regarding their policies about children taking medications at school...
      • Are children allowed to keep OTC medications with them? Prescription medications?
    • If you child rides a bus to school, do you know how well your child will cope with riding the bus or waiting at the bus stop?

    We all want the best for our children. We want them to be happy, and their school years can be some of their happiest. When it's nearing time to go back to school, taking extra time to prepare in advance can ease the situation for our children and for us.


    Be well,

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    Last updated July 30, 2009.



Published On: July 30, 2009