Dear Abby: Online guide helps parents recognize child depression

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photo Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: Seeing a child struggle with depression is such a helpless feeling. Parents wonder how to talk to them as they withdraw from the people and activities that used to bring them joy.

Depressed kids are more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs and are at greater risk for attempting suicide.

To help concerned parents reach out to their hurting children, USA.gov has created the free online-only Kids and Depression guide at www.USA.gov/features/kids-and-depression. The guide's sound, compassionate advice helps parents, grandparents and teachers recognize symptoms and risk factors in young people. It explains treatment options, including counseling and medication. And it also includes age-appropriate information about depression that parents can share with their children, elementary age through college.

Abby,