Supporting your child’s mental health
As parents and carers we play an important role in teaching children and young people how to understand and manage their feelings as they grow up.
I’m worried about my child or young person
If their life is in immediate danger, call 999.
What can I do at home?
- Find time to talk, just the two of you – ‘Check in’ with them while you’re doing things together, so they get used to talking about their feelings.
- Play together – Play helps them to be curious, learn new things, solve problems and express feelings without words.
- Be a role-model – Show how you cope with difficult feelings and look after yourself.
Where can I get more information?
Child mental health and wellbeing:
- Bereavement and grief (Child Bereavement UK)
- Divorce and separation (Young Minds)
- Getting ready to start school (Place2Be)
- Adolescence and growing up (The Mix)
Conditions and challenges:
Difference and diversity:
- Special needs and disabilities (Scope)
- Autism (National Autistic Society)
- LGBTQ+ (Strong Family Alliance)
- Gender diversity and transgender (Mermaids)
- Race and ethnicity (BAATN)
Does my child or young person need mental health support?
It’s normal to feel angry, sad, worried or stressed sometimes.
However, if they’re struggling to cope with those feelings, they might need support.
Look out for:
- Sudden changes in behaviour
- Negative thoughts and low self-esteem
- Arguing and fighting
- Sleep problems
- Avoiding school or staying with you all the time
- Aches and pains
Remember – everyone is different and these signs might not have anything to do with a mental health problem.
Children and young people can be affected by big changes like:
- Death or illness in the family
- Parents separating
- Moving school or moving house
- Tests and exams
- Adolescence and puberty
- Relationship and friendship problems
Try talking to them first. If you’re worried, follow our advice for getting help