British children anxious about world events, say parents

A survey of parents with children aged 5 to 18 has revealed that 41% of parents think their children are anxious about the threat of terrorism | Mental Health Foundation

A YouGov survey of over 1,800 parents was commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation to uncover the impact world events could be having on children, and equip parents to respond.

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Image source: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Almost a quarter of parents (23%) indicated their children were anxious about the threat of nuclear war. A third of parents (33%) thought their children were anxious about Donald Trump’s presidency. A third of parents (32%) also thought their children were anxious about global warming and climate change.

In terms of signs parents are noticing, of those whose children were anxious, 6 in 10 (61%) have noticed their children starting to ask a lot more questions, a quarter (24%) had noticed their children seeking reassurance, and 13% reported that their children have gone as far as asking to avoid activities such using public transport or going to busy public places. A further 8% reported their children having nightmares.

It found that overall almost 4 in 10 parents (39%) were concerned that their children are becoming more anxious about world and national events.

The Mental Health Foundation has produced a guide entitled
 ‘Talking to your children about scary world news’  to help parents minimise the negative impact upsetting world news has on children.

Read more at Mental Health Foundation

 

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‘Depression education’ effective for some teens

In an assessment of their ‘depression literacy’ program, which has already been taught to tens of thousands, researchers say the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program achieved its intended effect of encouraging many teenagers to speak up and seek adult help for themselves or a peer. | ScienceDaily | American Journal of Public Health

Objectives. To determine the effectiveness of a universal school-based depression education program.

Methods. In 2012–2015, we matched 6679 students from 66 secondary schools into pairs by state (Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Oklahoma) and randomized to the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP; n = 3681) or to a waitlist control condition (n = 2998). Trained teachers delivered ADAP as part of the health education curriculum to students aged 14 to 15 years. The primary outcome was depression literacy. Secondary outcomes included mental health stigma and, in a subset of the sample, the receipt of mental health services. Follow-up was at 4 months.

Results. ADAP resulted in significantly higher levels of depression literacy among participating students than did waitlist controls, after adjusting for pretest assessment depression literacy (P < .001). Overall, ADAP did not significantly affect stigma (P = .1). After ADAP, students approached 46% of teachers with concerns about themselves or others. Of students who reported the need for depression treatment, 44% received treatment within 4 months of ADAP implementation.

Conclusions. ADAP is an effective public health intervention for improving depression literacy among students.

Read more at ScienceDaily

Full reference: Swartz, K. et al. | School-Based Curriculum to Improve Depression Literacy Among US Secondary School Students: A Randomized Effectiveness Trial | American Journal of Public Health |  2017; 107 (12): 1970