Hot Stuff to Help Kids Cheer up: The Depression and Self-Esteem workbook

Here’s a resource parents, counselors, and medical professionals should be aware of for children battling depression or low self-esteem. Though this book is unique in that it is written directly to kids, not adults. The author uses an interactive format, and writes in a relaxed, supportive manner. Here’s an excerpt:

My guess is one of the reasons you’re reading this book is because your life isn’t going as well as it could. You’re upset, unhappy, or unfulfilled, which are all ways of saying that you are in some type of pain. Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about pain, both physical and emotional. I think I have figured out one of the things pain can do for us. When things weren’t going well for me, I used to wonder if I had done something to deserve it. Why was I being punished? Then I had a realization. Pain is not intended to be a punishment. Pain is meant to teach us.

After giving some basic information on the causes and common treatments for depression, he emphasizes to the kids that their own views and thoughts on themselves and their situations is key to overcoming their depression. He includes an inventory of questions for major depression, and instructs the reader to get immediate help if experiencing any suicidal thoughts. Although this is not specifically a Christian resource, it does have helpful advice. The only part I thought awkward was the discussion of boyfriend/girlfriend issues. I have two boys in that age group and they wouldn’t even dream of having a girlfriend at their age, but I suppose things are different in public school settings. It’s good to know a resource like this is available. If used thoughtfully and teamed with a support network, it just might help these kids open up and receive the help they desperately need.

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