Depression in Indigenous Youth
Depression comes in many forms, and does not present itself in the same way with every individual. Feeling down or low from time to time is a normal response to life’s struggles, but when emotions such as hopelessness become inescapable, you or your loved one could have depression.
Depression can present itself in many ways, such as:
- feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- increased anxiety
- loss of energy
- anger or irritability
- sleeping more or less
- appetite or weight changes
- loss of interest in daily activities
- reduced concentration
- reckless behaviour
- unexplained aches and pains
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Depression takes hold of one’s ability to function in daily life, impacting one’s capacity to participate in school, work, social circumstances, family lives, and areas of enjoyment. Depression in children and adolescents often presents itself as:
- loss of interest in school and poor academic performance
- change in social activities
- change in appearance
- acting out or angry behaviour
- experimentation with drugs or alcohol
Although depression is a serious illness, it is treatable. Art therapy provides a confidential setting to unpack and explore underlying causes of depression. Through the safe processing of thoughts and feelings, attainable holistic goals, and skills building, depressive symptoms can be lessened. An Individual along with their surrounding support system can be at the forefront of their care process.
Our therapy services for Indigenous/First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities can be accessed in remote areas using our confidential online videoconferencing technology as well as on-site visits. Our unique service delivery model, in partnership with communities, has helped many First Nations children and youth receive mental health services that they may not have otherwise received.