Child and adolescent mental health
Useful websites for parents and carers
Action for Children's vision is that every child and young person in the UK has a safe and happy childhood, and the foundations they need to thrive. They do this by working closely with children and their families, from before they’re born until their twenties. Their mental and emotional well-being experts work with families and schools to make sure children and parents feel able to cope with challenges when they arise.
Their online information will help you understand the signs and behaviours that could point your child or young person needing support to maintain their mental wellbeing through their teenage years and into adulthood.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is a children’s mental health charity with a vision for a world in which children and their families are effectively supported to build on their own strengths to achieve their goals in life. Children, young people and families are at the heart of everything they do, and they are committed to involving young people and parents in all aspects of their work. By recognising and promoting the voice of mums and dads, they can work together to better ensure mental health services are meeting the needs of families.
Build Sound Minds is a campaign to build better mental and emotional wellbeing in young people. We should all be talking more about how we’re feeling - not waiting until there’s a serious problem. Just like our physical health, our emotional wellbeing needs care and attention.
The first step is creating a positive conversation about mental health..In giving you the knowledge and tools to support your children in this way, we can help them find ways to manage their feelings from an earlier age. That’s means that when they do face difficulties, they can find ways to bounce back.
The Mental Health Foundation's vision is for a world with good mental health for all; their mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health. Prevention is at the heart of what they do, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Their knowledge is informed by rigorous research and practical based study.
They have produced an online guide for parents and carers to help children understand, protect and sustain their mental health.
MindEd for families is a free learning resource about the mental health of children and young people. It is s a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies.
MindEd for families has advice and information from trusted experts and will help you understand what problems occur, what you can do to best support your family, and how to take care of yourself. It was written by a team of specialists and parents, working together.
The NHS website has a page on talking to children about their feelings. If you're worried about a child, encouraging them to talk can be very helpful. Sometimes being able to talk to someone other than a parent may be helpful; grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers or even a counsellor can all offer support. There is also information about play, as children express themselves through play as well as words. You can learn a lot about how they're feeling by simply spending time with them and watching them play.
The NHS website has a page for parents who are worried about their teenager. It can be difficult for parents to tell whether their teenagers are just "being teens" or if there is something more serious going on.Many of the symptoms listed below can often be attributed to normal teenage behaviour. However, if you're worried, it can be helpful to know the signs of a possible problem. You may then choose to discuss your concerns with your teen, or get advice from a GP..
Nip in the Bud® was set up to encourage awareness about mental health disorders in young children. These relatively common problems which begin in childhood and adolescence can have wide-ranging and long-lasting effects, affecting a child’s relationships, their educational attainment and job opportunities. The films are intended to be watched by parents and professionals, and include anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and conduct disorders. There are accompanying fact sheets.
Parenting Mental Health is a community dedicated to empowering, educating, and supporting parents of children who are facing mental health issues and mental illness. They say "We understand. We’ve been there. And we know how scary, challenging, and isolating caring for a child with a mental illness can be." You can also join their Facebook page for peer support.
Place2Be is a national charity providing in-school emotional support to children and young people. Children and young people are offered one-to-one counselling or group work, depending on their individual needs. Place2Talk, a daily self-referral service run in break times, may also be available, Place2Be also offer counselling and support for parents, grandparents and carers.
You can find further information about what you can do at home to support your child; links to other websites about specific issues; and signs to look out for if you think your child may need mental health support.
Reachoutparents site is hosted by ReachOut.com, an online service based in Ireland dedicated to taking the mystery out of mental health for young people aged 12-25 years-old.The content on ReachOutParents.com has been developed based on an assessment with parents of young people aged 12-25 years-old. It is divided into five main sections based on what parents told us they wanted to know: Wellbeing, health problems, Technology, Services available to support young people’s mental health and Tips for parents on supporting their own mental health.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the UK. There is a wealth of information on their website, including information including a variety of information for parents and carers about children and young people's mental health. It is written by psychiatrists and young people working together. The RCP believes that everyone needs to make informed decisions about their health, and aims to produce information that is evidence-based, accessible and up to date.
stem4 is a teenage mental health charity aimed at improving teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage. Young people have just as much right to accessing facts about good mental health as they do good physical health, and yet there is a lack of accurate information. Embarrassment or social stigma surrounding mental health issues can so easily lead to confusion with what may be normal development, as opposed to the early development of a mental health issue. By raising awareness, sharing information on how to recognise early warning signs and by providing effective strategies in how to deal with them, we aim to identify and stem these conditions early on.
There is information on eating disorders, self-harm, depression and anxiety, and addiction for teens, friends, parents, schools and professionals.
Voices in the Middle is a place where young people aged 13 to 19 years old, whose parents are splitting up can find a place to share their voice, read helpful and age-appropriate content plus connect with support designed just for them.
In the area for parents, you can read about how to talk to and support your teenager in the middle of divorce and separation, including their rights, well-being and protecting their family relationships. Voices in the middle were guided by material provided young people who have been through family separation: they asked them what they most wanted to say to parents.
YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for a future where all children and young people are supported and empowered and to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties. They have a helpline for parents to get advice on their child’s behaviour, emotional wellbeing, or mental health, and have information booklets on a variety of topics that are free to download.
10% of children and young people between 5 and 16 years old have been diagnosed with a mental health problem. This animation shows you ways in which you can speak to your child if you are worried about their mental health.