For parents

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Young boy smiling

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:

Resources about children and young people's mental health

We have produced a wealth of expert, evidence-based 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.

View resources for parents

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.

View PLACE Network support groups

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.

Read about our whole school approach

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.

Read tips

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!

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