Stop Think Do

Specific application - Depression

  • Some children exhibit sullenness, lethary, poor concentration and motivation, negative self-talk or no talk, give up easily, and seem flat in affect. They may also experience sleep difficulties, poor appetite and social withdrawl

  • To help children who display these symptoms using STOP THINK DO, follow the plan outlined for anxiety since these conditions are often concurrent in children and young adolescents

  • Don't spend time trying to identify or discuss the child's low mood logically. Like anxiety, depression cannot be explained away but it can be managed better by the sufferer if they have a plan to go by

  • The aim is to de-emotionalize depression by helping the child to identify their specific symptoms at STOP (not hungry, tired, day-dreamy, teary, no fun, negative talk). Then, the child is encouraged to use their good brain to THINK of ways to change these symptoms and make them feel better. For example, they could

    • share lunch with their teacher and a friend

    • get to school early to help the teacher set up the classroom or do some other job

    • do something physical each day

    • look after a pet

    • draw or write about their feelings and throw the negative ones in the bin

    • meet regularly with a buddy

    • bring something special to school to make them and their friend feel good

  • Adults then support and reinforce the child's plan, and come up with more options if necessary.