There are many different types of mental health issues which may impact your child. The Young Minds website has an A-Z of specific mental health conditions and life events. For each topic there is advice and signposting of where to go for help.
Being able to talk openly can help relieve many anxieties that may be building up inside your child. Try to make regular time to spend with your child, in which they have the opportunity to talk about anything they want. It could be during a walk or while baking a cake, for example, to help them relax and open up. Hearing you respond honestly can also be a hugely beneficial as it reassures them their feelings are valid. Talking to your child about how they’re feeling is so important, but can be hard. Here are some useful tips to help start the conversation.
Research clearly shows that acts of kindness can help improve emotional wellbeing. This is true whether we are giving or receiving it. “Kindness unlocks our shared humanity and is central for our mental health. It has the potential to bring us together with benefits for everyone, particularly at times of great stress." (Mental Health Foundation) And that is why 2020 Mental Health Awareness Week is focussing on #KindnessMatters.
Of course, children are no exception and can really benefit from joining in with those little acts of kindness. Here are a few ideas to do with your kids:
While nothing can replace a face-to-face conversation, there are many online resources available to support young people.
MiLife - an online help service designed by young people from Essex with useful information and links to other organisations that work with young people.
Reading Well - Recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.
The Mix– Support service for young people.They are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing – from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to them via online, social or the free, confidential helpline.
MindFresh - an online service and app created and used by young people to gain access to mental health services, information and advice.
YoungMinds Parents Helpline 0808 802 5544
Family Lives and Parent Line 0808 800 2222