Mental Health Support
Our mental health is a fundamental part to our overall health and well-being. As a parent, you play a huge role in supporting your child's mental well-being. Nurturing and loving care build a strong foundation, helping your child to develop the social and emotional skills they need to lead a happy, healthy and fulfilled life.
Encouraging and guiding a child to think about their own mental health and wellbeing are vital skills you can teach them from a young age.
We hope this page provides some support to help open up the conversation about mental health.
Support for parents and carers (guidance from NHS)
If you're concerned about a child or young person's mental health, you can get free, confidential advice via phone, email or webchat from the Young Minds Parents Helpline.
Action for Children has lots of tips to help you spot signs of mental health issues in children and advice on the action you can take to help.
Barnardo's has also set up the See, Hear, Respond support hub – a dedicated service to help children, young people and their families or carers with problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Experiencing the loss of a friend or loved one can be extremely difficult. The Childhood Bereavement Network has information and links to national and local organisations you or the child you look after might find helpful.
Any professional that works with children and young people should be able to help you get support. You could talk to a teacher, school nurse, social worker or GP.
You can find more information about NHS children and young people's mental health services (CYPMHS) on the NHS website. You can also look at your local Clinical Commissioning Group website, and most services also have their own website with information about access, referrals (including whether you can "self-refer") and contact details – try searching in your area for "CYPMHS" or "CAMHS" (children and adolescent mental health services, an older term used for some CYPMHS).
If you are worried about a child or young person who has or may have an eating disorder, check if your local Children and Young People's Community Eating Disorder Team accepts self-referrals and contact them as soon as possible. You can also speak to your GP. Beat has lots more useful advice for children, young people and adults.
If you look after a child that has additional needs, Mencap, the Mental Health Foundation and the National Autistic Society all have excellent resources and support for parents or carers of children with learning disabilities or autism.
If you have any concerns at all about a child’s safety or wellbeing, including their mental health, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline 7 days a week, via the website or by emailing email@example.com or calling 0808 800 5000. It does not have to be an emergency – you might be looking for guidance and support. Dedicated NSPCC child protection specialists will be able to advise and take any necessary action.
Support for adults
If you’re an adult struggling with your mental health or need someone to talk to, there are a number of platforms available to you including Mind, Samaritans, Mental Health Foundation, Shout, Mental Health Helpline for Wales, Andys Man Club, Pandas Foundation UK and many more.
If you decide that you do need to ask for help, click here to find some options on where to go, as well as suggestions on how to search for services that might be more specific to you.