Depression is a very tricky mental illness. People often associate mental illness with being psycho/crazy/mad and what not. There is something which is to be kept in mind that mental illness is something which is as normal as a stomach ache or fever. Anyone can get it and all it requires is prolonged treatment and proper care like any other issue of the body.
Depression lurks behind the shadows of a person, so, even when you see him/her you get a feeling that it is a part of them. It's just how the person is. This is only when it is visible but otherwise depression has the super-power of invisibility. You really wouldn't know if it exists within a person unless you actually peep into one's mind to know and listen to what they have to say. It is also equally important to believe in them when they say it other than brushing things aside.
The symptoms of depression is often confused with a person being "sad." But we should understand one thing that sadness is an emotion which does not persist day after day and it is often situational. Depression continues for a prolonged span of time and can lead to disastrous outcomes if not spoken about properly. The symptoms of depression are:
Loss of appetite.
Feeling tired and lethargic.
Agitation or physical restlessness.
Suicidal thoughts or acts.
It is quite evident that depression claims lives of people and children more than any other mental illness does. Something that seems vague to you may build up chains of darkness in someone's mind and suffocate them day and night. It is as bad or rather worse than physical pain because you often cannot trace it.
Now when it comes to parents, they often feel that "this cannot be happening to my child, I have provided them with everything they have needed. This is probably an excuse to not to do things." Similar to several other body illness, depression can affect children to a great extent. But then this is nothing to be scared or blamed about. This is that phase when a child needs his/her parents the most. They need to be felt HEARD and believed in. They need proper care and counselling therapy. There is literally nothing to be ASHAMED about. Mental health professionals are trained to tackle such issues for years. They know what needs to be done. As parents it necessary that one should not only care about the child's body and environment but also his/her mind. Because failure to listen can take a very disastrous and determined turn.
Finally, schools and teachers including parents should talk about depression and it's effects because we cannot afford to lose young lives who will help us build a better future. Give the students access to talk to an efficient counsellor. Lives of the bright souls are far more important and expensive than anything else.