Mental Health

Looking after a child or young person's mental health

There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways you can support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy:

  • Be there to listen
  • Support them through difficulties
  • Show an interest in their life and the things that are important to them
  • Encourage their interests
  • Take what they say seriously
  • Build positive routines

Around 1 in 5 children and young people experience behavioural or emotional problems growing up. For some, these will resolve with time, for others they will need professional support.

Signs something may be wrong

It can be difficult to know when there is something upsetting a child or young person but there are some signs you may be able to spot:

  • Significant behaviour changes
  • Ongoing sleep issues
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Not being motivated to do the things they usually like
  • Poor self-care
  • Self-harm

Getting support

If you’re concerned about a child or young person’s mental health, there is lots of support available, including professional help. We would encourage you to speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance.

MindEd for Families has information explaining some common behavioural problems in different age groups.

You can get free, confidential advice via phone, email or webchat from the Young Minds Parents Helpline.

CAMHS provides mental health services to children, young people and families across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

The NSPCC has advice to help you support children who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings or self-harm.

There is also Ask Sam, a service offered by Childline where young people can write in with their problems or questions. Although Childline can only respond to a few each week, they publish the advice given to other young people’s questions and problems.