10 practical tips for parents, from parents

Ten practical tips for parents supporting a child with a mental health problem, written by parents who have gone through it.
  1. Above all, accept and try to understand your child’s difficulties – educate yourself as much as possible about your child’s mental health challenges.
  2. Be kind to yourself. If you don’t look after yourself first, you won’t be able to look after your child.
  3. Ask for and accept help from professionals, family members or support groups – you don’t have to do this alone.
  4. Until your child has the right help and support in place, remember that many of their everyday behaviours may be driven by their mental health needs.
  5. There is no one right answer. It takes time to work out the best support and interventions that will work for your family. Be patient.
  6. Find simple little things to help you cope - meet a friend for a coffee, play a sport you love, go for a walk. Giving yourself permission to take time out for yourself will help you care for your child.
  7. Forgive yourself if you say or do the wrong thing. You will be learning alongside your child and doing the best that you can.
  8. There are times when you need to trust your instinct – remember that you know your child better than anyone and that you are a crucial part of their support team.
  9. It’s okay to feel however you feel - sad, angry, upset, numb. Go with it, but if the negative feelings last for too long, get help.
  10. Hold on to hope, no matter how difficult things seem. Just being there, listening and offering hope is the most important thing you can do.
happy father and son

Resources

Resource

Supporting a child with anxiety

A guide for parents and carers

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Resource

Supporting children returning to school (parents & carers)

Guidance for parents and carers on how to help your child prepare to go back to school

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Resource

Coping with self-harm resource

This guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for parents and carers

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Resource

Perfectionism

How to spot and respond to unhealthy perfectionism

View resource
Resource

Asking for help

Tips for young people on when it’s time to talk about their mental health, or if they want to help a friend

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Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult times

View resource
Resource

Guide to depression for parents and carers

This booklet aims to help recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

View resource
Resource

Warning signs poster

A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.

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Resource

Depression booklet

Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depression

View resource
Resource

Parents guide to depression (Welsh)

This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

View resource
Resource

Coping with self-harm (Welsh)

A guide for parents and carers in Welsh

View resource

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