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Manulife raises awareness among its employees with depression in adolescents


Justine Montminy

29 May 2018 13:30

Manulife was invited at a conference for its employees, the psychiatrist of the child and adolescent Dr. Johanne Renaud. The latter has reiterated the importance of the accompanying role of the parent in the prevention of depression and suicide among young people.

Half of all adults who live with depression have experienced a first episode of the disease before the age of 20 years, ” says psychiatrist Dr. Renaud, also a researcher at the Centre Manulife to progress in the prevention of depression and suicide among young people. If a parent suffers from major depression, the risks to the child of suffering depression increased 3 to 5 times.

Warning signs

During the evaluation of the patient, the parents, are of great importance, ” reports Dr. Renaud. “We encourage both parents to come at the first meeting with the psychiatrist or the psychologist. More than ever, it is important to work all together. “She adds that the family history in terms of health is also a key element in the diagnosis. Parents can also attest to the change of behaviour among the young.

These behavioural changes include, among others, a sadness unusual in the young, a loss of interest in activities usually enjoyable, a marked change in appetite or sleeping habits, loss of energy or changes in the social functioning or academic.

Dr. Renaud cautions parents to bring a nuance to the changes in the behaviour of young people. “It must not be forgotten that adolescence is a period of often turbulent. If your teen has any of these symptoms after a major event such as a bereavement, a break, a change of school, this should not necessarily jump to conclusions. But if your kid doesn’t eat and has been crying for two weeks non-stop, then there are questions to ask “, she said. The child psychiatrist in addition to the importance of communication between parents and young people in the decision to visit or not.

Depression in teens

Approximately 8.3% of adolescents suffer from depression, according to Dr. Renaud. The symptoms of teen depression and adult depression are quite similar with a few differences. “Adolescents often show more irritability than adults. The responsiveness to the social environment is also greatly increased. Finally, in adults who suffer from depression, we note a decrease in the sleep. In teens it is the opposite, they tend to sleep more, ” said the psychiatrist.

Suicide prevention

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens after motor vehicle accidents, reports to Dr. Renaud. According to the studies presented by the psychiatrist, 35 % of teens who suffer from depression ask a suicidal gesture. Boys are more at risk to actually act out than girls.

Dr. Renaud sees himself, however, reassuring by revealing that the suicide rate is in decline in Quebec since 1999. In the early 90s, the province of Quebec had the highest suicide rates in Canada. She attributes the decrease of these figures to the prevention and awareness activities. “Our research has greatly advanced. In Canada and in Quebec, we’ve done a lot of prevention, and we have taken depression in young people seriously. There are 20-25 years of age, it was said that adolescent depression was only a phase, ” she says.

Online resources

Dr. Renaud strongly encourages parents and youth to learn about the many online platforms that exist. She has participated in the implementation of the Centre’s Web site Douglas Manulife, funded by Manulife. There are many information about depression in young people.

The platform is an information tool that makes the distinction between adolescents and parents. “There is the section “ado” which is directly addressed to young people and it is separated from the section “seating of parents”. The ado section includes, for example, an article that gives an example of the questions a psychiatrist might ask them during your consultation. The young will then know what to expect and was reassuring, ” says Dr. Renaud.

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