Evidence shows that good relationships - with family, friends and our wider communities - are important for our mental wellbeing. 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.
Building stronger, wider social connections can help us feel happier and more secure, and give us a greater sense of purpose.
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?
- Bereavement and grief (Child Bereavement UK) or (Winston's Wish)
- 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)
Here is a useful video on explaining the teenage brain, it is incredibly complex – Click here.
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
Where to go for support with your wellbeing:
Mind is a great website that offers support for a wide range of issues that you may face
NHS has lots of advice on how to access the mental health services available depending on where you live
Thurrock Website includes a list of where and how to access support in our borough
Where else can you get support as a parent supporting a young person’s wellbeing?
The NSPCC has a wide range of tips for dealing with many of the issues you might face with your teen such as tantrums and talking about difficult topics
Young Minds for parents, useful information on supporting a young persons mental health
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For more useful links, tips and advice visit this website