Depression – spotting the signs, symptoms and triggers…..

What is depression?

..a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experienceslow mood and a range of associated emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural symptoms.”

National Clinical Practice (NICE 2007)

Black Dog

Low Mood

  • Low mood is common and often an understandable reaction to unhappy experiences
  • Low mood is one symptom of depression, it usually resolves itself but can persist for over one year. This is usually:

Feeling  sad, miserable and/or irritable

Lack of enjoyment in life

Low in energy or ‘tired all the time’

Clinical Depression

Lasts at least 2 weeks




Increase self-harm risks

Substance misuse


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What can we notice about:-

The signs and symptoms of depression?

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Attitudes and thinking things a depressed person might say

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Possible risk factors and triggers for depression

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How a person with depression may present at home?

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How a young person with depression may present at school?

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Mood Scaling – On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being so miserable you can’t get out of bed and 10 being completely happy 

Where are you now?

Most of the time, at home, at school/college?

Are you ever higher? When? Who with?

Are you ever lower? When? Who with?

Do you ever think about not being here? ( Be specific because they may interpret not being here as running away rather than harming themselves)

What have you thought about doing? ( possibly ask about a plan at this point)When do you think about it? When did you last think about it? Are you still feeling like this?  What would be a good place to be?  How would you get there? What help do you need to get there?

This is not an evidence based assessment just a guide to ascertain mood and risk and resilience.

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Useful Books

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There are lots of very helpful videos by Pooky Knightsmith on YouTube.

How to start helping….

Give reassurance and information:-

Help the person to realise that:-

A real medical condition

Depression is a common illness

Not weakness or a character defect

Effective treatment available

Effective help is available

Depression will get better faster with right help

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Thanks to you all!

Privileged to be invited to deliver a workshop on well-being and mental health.

Total Teaching


The day after…

Firstly, a huge thanks to every person who came.  The audience for the workshop hosts is pretty much all that matters.  The fact that people are willing to turn up and create a community is simple amazing.  I know that for some people it was the first dip of the toe in terms of coming to events like these and the atmosphere makes the difference…and the people make the atmosphere.

@StHelensHpool and it’s staff deserve a huge shout out.  A lovely school that was a perfect host.  Staff made sure everyone was fed and watered throughout the day.  So thank you @bradley_carole  for allowing us to spend the day in your learning environment. 

@7Stories and @BeanstalkNEast  were amazing and prompted the importance of reading and the fine work they do.

@kspine  opened the day.  A spine surgeon who impressed…

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