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Support for parents and carers
Difficulties at school for example exam pressure, bullying or moving school, family problems for example separation, bereavement or health difficulties are but a few of the many reasons why a child might need some help.
Things happening around them or generally how they’re thinking and feeling can make it hard to speak out. They may feel like they are causing a fuss, that they might get into trouble, or that speaking about how they are feeling will make things worse.
It can be really hard if your child is experiencing mental health problems. You may feel it’s somehow all your fault, that you don't know how to help, or that you can fix it by doing or saying the right things, but often all you can do is be there to support them.
It’s important to look after yourself. Visit www.nowweretalking.nhs.uk for information on the range of mental health and wellbeing support available across both counties.
Parents ToolKIt from BBC Bitesize with sections for parents of children, teenagers and children with additional needs.
Positive parenting guide – download free from NSPCC. Covers topics such as setting boundaries, keeping your cool, rewards and discipline and building positive relationships.
Tips to help
It is normal for children and young people to experience things like worry or anxiety as they develop through childhood and adolescence. These tend to be situation specific, short term and can be managed by yourself
Things to try, support and Next Steps
- Normalise different emotions and when things are not normal. You can click on the age specific pages to see typical symptoms for different feelings.
- Encourage, reward and praise a young person not to avoid; the more a young person avoids, the harder it becomes and the more anxious a young person will become. Instead, encourage the young person to develop courage by doing what they are afraid of, which gets easier each time.
- Supporting a young person to problem solve any real issues
- Support your young person to access self-help resources on this website
YoungMinds Parent line is open Monday-Friday 9.30-4pm. Outside of these hours you can also e-mail for advice on their contact form.
Family Lives Telephone line staffed by trained therapists can offer emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. There is also the option of live chat and e-mail if you are unable to get through on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need some help?
If you are worried about your child’s mental health it is important to seek advice.
- The wellbeing and emotional support teams in schools service is designed to help children and young people ages 5-18 years access mental health and wellbeing support early on in educational settings. It's all about ensuring children and young people can get access to the right help as early as possible.
- The Reach4Wellbeing team supports and promotes the emotional wellbeing of young people and parents of primary school age children through interactive online group programmes, using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) principles.
- Share concerns with your child’s school/ college
- Speak to your child’s GP if they have thoughts of suicide, hearing voices, feelings of unreality, becoming very angry or violent, showing signs of an eating disorder or becoming very withdrawn. They may be able to refer you into the CAMHS (Children’s and Adolescent Mental health Support) team.
Need help quickly?
If your child has taken an overdose or self-harmed and you are concerned that the cuts are very deep or there is serious blood loss go to A&E or call 999.
Emergency Help and Helplines
NHS Crisis line
Whether you feel your mental health problems have become much worse or are experiencing problems for the first time, you may need help quickly.
You can phone the mental health helpline for urgent advice: 0808 196 9127 (free phone 24 hrs a day 365 days a year)
The team will offer advice, support and, if required, an assessment to understand how you are feeling. When calling the number, you can expect to speak to Mental Health Advisors and/or trained Mental Health Clinicians who will be able to listen to your concerns and help make appropriate plans with you to support you.
Search for an urgent mental health helpline in your area