Being a parent can be a joy. It should be a joy. And it often is.
But when your child is suffering, parenthood can be a tough, lonely and frightening place. And when the cause of that suffering is hard to understand, as is so often the case with mental health, it becomes more difficult still.
At Charlie Waller, we understand that. In part, this is because the experts who lead our rapidly expanding Parent and Carer Programme are also parents who have experienced it themselves.
So we understand how hard it is, but we also know that there is a great deal that you can do to help.
Our programme of information and support is underpinned by four principles. As a parent or carer:
- Look after your own wellbeing. This is vital. If you don’t, you will be far less able to look after your child’s;
- Educate yourself about your child’s mental health difficulties – it makes a big difference. It will help you to cope yourself, and it will better enable you to understand and support your child;
- There is hope. Remember this. There are practical tools and treatments that work and our knowledge of children’s and young people’s mental health is advancing all the time. Holding onto hope yourself, and offering hope to your child, is the most important thing you can do;
- You are not alone, despite how it may sometimes feel. There are many, many families going through similar difficulties, and help is available.
We support parents and carers in three ways:
Information about children and young people's mental health
We have produced a wealth of expert, evidence-based articles and resources for parents and carers, on a range of topics relating to the mental health of children and young people, which are being regularly added to. Information is available on our website as well as in leaflets which can be downloaded or requested in hard copy.
PLACE - national network of parent support groups
Our Parent Lead, Wendy Minhinnett, pioneered the ‘Rollercoaster’ model of parent support groups, which help parents deal with mental health issues that their child might be having. Now, under Wendy’s leadership, Charlie Waller has set up the PLACE Network, a rapidly developing national network of parent support groups and training workshops.
Training through schools
We advocate a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing, we work in partnership with schools, offering expert advice and training that involves all members of the school community - pupils, staff, parents and carers.
The Charlie Waller partnership approach is evidence-based and, above all, is practical and supportive. It helps schools to deliver ‘everyday magic’ throughout the school community and ensures that schools and parents can work hand-in-hand to support their children’s’ mental health.
We are now offering a great deal more training and support online via Zoom and webinars. This can work very well for parents who may find it hard to attend an event in person. It also means we can reach many more parents and carers from all over the UK.
Help us continue to support parents and carers
There are lots of ways to get involved with the Charlie Waller Trust. From fantastic events, to individual challenges, to corporate fundraising, there's something to suit everyone!Get involved
The Charlie Waller Trust
The Charlie Waller Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales 1109984. A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales 5447902. Registered address: The Charlie Waller Trust, Rear Office, First Floor, 32 High Street, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3JD.
Copyright © 2021 The Charlie Waller Trust. All rights reserved.