Families Connected Resources

The Signs

click on the image to enlarge

An increasing number of kids are struggling with depression, often when they're too young to communicate what they're feeling

When a child is suffering from depression, they might withdraw from their friends, begin performing poorly at school or experience a change in activity level. While adults with depression are likely to become lethargic, kids are more liable to be hyperactive

Because kids don’t have the words to explain the despair they feel, many come off as being irritable, aggressive or just plain poorly behaved. Kids can act this way in order to push people away and avoid interactions when they are unable to express themselves. (source, Today’s Parent)

Please click on “Know the Five Signs” for warning signs of depression and suicidal ideation in youth.

CLICK HERE to access 24/7 crisis hotlines, resources, and treatment referrals in the South Bay.

A South Bay teen shares his experience so that other teens know that they are not alone

Mira Costa grad and University Penn student, Brian Chao, shares his struggles with depression and anxiety in this Families Connected video.


Families Connected parent and teen blogs


Related Families Connected resources

Curated National Resources

Clicking on the logos, images, and links below will take you out of the Families Connected website and to the online resource indicated. Families Connected Is not affiliated with these organizations, nor have these organizations paid to have their resources shared here. Please note that, unlike the Families Connected website, some of the websites/articles included here may display pop-up ads. Families Connected will remain open in your browser.

Recommended Online Mental Health Resources and Helplines

For free confidential crisis counseling, mental health information, and referrals to providers, call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's 24-hour Access Center at 1-800-854-7771.


The Crisis Text Line has assembled a comprehensive list of referral resources that meet stringent criteria. Topics include abuse, self-harm, substance use, grief, isolation, and more. Topics are searchable online. We highly recommend this resource.


For information related to warning signs of mental health conditions, as well as a helpline, please visit NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness

Resources and Information

The Child Mind Institute offers free online resources, guides, articles from experts, and a symptom checker to provide families with insight and advice on common concerns that many families face, including depression. A broad array of mental health issues are addressed. We highly recommend their page on Generalized Anxiety Disorder in youth.


Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. (Help Guide)

Keep in mind that your child’s anxiety disorder diagnosis is not a sign of poor parenting. It may add stress to family life, however. It is helpful to build a support network of relatives and friends. (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Hear from teens around the country about their experiences and opinions on mental health. (NAMI)

It is not uncommon for parents to wonder whether their child is acting like a normal teenager or behaving differently due to mental illness, drug use or behavioral difficulties. Normal teenagers are often moody due to hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty. However, when mental illness is involved, it may be difficult to differentiate “normal teenage behavior” from the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties. (Friends for Mental Health)