What is depression?

The word ‘depression’ is thrown around a lot, but there’s more to this condition than many people realise. It’s important that students learn about depression, including what it is, its causes, typical signs and symptoms, and how to seek help.

Year Level




5 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management

Learning Intention

Students will be able to describe what depression is, including its signs and symptoms.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe what depression is
  • identify signs and symptoms of depression.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

  1. Provide each student with a copy of the ReachOut.com article 'What is depression?'
  2. Set a timer to 4 minutes.
  3. Students study the article independently, trying to remember as much as they can of what they read.
  4. Students put the article away.
  5. Set the timer for 1 minute.
  6. Students write down or draw everything they can remember from the article. Punctuation and spelling don't matter. The important thing is the content.
  7. As a class, discuss the the key take-aways from the article and anything that surprises them.