I'm a Worried Parent or Carer

You might have noticed that something has changed with your child, and you are worried that they are struggling with their mental health.

You might have noticed this because they have changed their normal behaviour, become isolated or withdrawn, they aren’t eating or sleeping like they would normally, they are using drugs or alcohol, displaying risky behaviour, or are telling you they feel low or anxious. These signs might mean that they are struggling with their mental health, and potentially have a mental health condition.

Please look at our other pages for more information on the most common mental health conditions: depression, and anxiety, and for information about self-harm and exam stress.
There are lots of things that can help your child including talking to family and friends, talking to helplines, or seeking help from a doctor (GP appointment). Other daily things like self-care behaviours, hobbies, relaxing, exercise or being outdoors, goal setting, good sleep, and healthy eating might help too.

It is important to firstly have a conversation with your child to understand how they are feeling, and giving them time and space to tell you. Sometimes a young person finds it really hard to talk about how they are feeling with a parent, so encourage them to also speak to another trusted adult, or a helpline – as listed below.

Being concerned with or supporting your child’s mental health can also be very stressful and difficult for you as their parent or carer, so please do also look after your own wellbeing, and seek help for yourself if needed.

If you would like further help or information, follow any of the recommended resources to the right. You are not alone, there are lots of people and services that can help your child, and things can get better.

Learn more about supporting your child

YoungMinds Parents Helpline
Ring the YoungMinds parents helpline for advice on how to support your child
Call the Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines

Encourage your child to phone someone
Ring Childline for free on 0800 1111 if you are under 18 years old or visit their website:
Or ring Hopeline for free on 0800 068 4141 f you are age 18-35

Encourage your child to text the crisis textline
Text “SHOUT” to 85258
Shout Crisis Text Line offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.
Text anytime, or visit their website here

Encourage your child to talk to a counsellor online
Get free online counselling with Kooth link

A short guide to supporting your teenager’s mental health
Read this short guide on supporting your teenager’s mental health, including key topics like exam stress

If it is an emergency…


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