Recognising the signs that a child or young person may be struggling with their mental health can be really difficult.
Here's a list of advice, further information and support services to help you support a child or young person who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings or self-harm.
Talking to children about feelings
If you're worried about a child, encouraging them to talk can be very helpful, but it can be hard to know how to start talking to them about it. See the NHS website for helpful tips on starting the conversation.
Worried about your 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. For information on eating disorders, depression and ways to help your teenager see the NHS website.
Tests and exams can be a challenging part of school life for children and young people but there are ways to ease the stress. For information on how to support your child through their exams see the NHS website.
NSPCC - Advice for parents who's child may be self-harming - Why do children self harm, signs to look out for and how to support them.
Depression, Anxiety and Mental health
NSPCC - Advice for parents worried about a child's mental health - Advice on how to talk to your child about their mental health and recognising the signs that they might be struggling. Noticing the difference between anxiety, stress and long term depression.
NHS website - Spotting signs of depression in children and teenagers
Young Minds - Advice and guidance for parents, where to find help and how to set up your own support group. Also offer free confidential online and telephone support to anyone worried about the emotional and mental wellbeing of a child or young person up to the age of 25.
Call the free parents' helpine on 0808 802 5544 from 9.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org and YoungMinds will respond to your query within 3 working days
Mental Health Foundation - A guide for parents and carers to help children understand, protect and sustain their mental health and top tips for how you can support your child's mental health.
MindEd is an online e-portal offering free, simple advice to help adults identify, understand and support children and young people with mental health issues. Although it's aimed at practitioners, parents and carers may also find the information helpful.
Bullying and Cyber-bullying
NSPCC - Advice for parents on supporting a child who is being bullied - What is bullying, how to recognise the signs and how to support a child. This website also includes helpful advice for parents and carers on supporting themselves.
This website provides a variety of resources specifically for parents and carers.
- How to talk to your child about a difficult subject
- Local support services in Leeds
- Looking after yourself
- Parenting children under 5 years old
- Parenting children 5-11 years of age
- Parenting teenagers
- Support for young parents
When to seek professional help
If your child is feeling unhappy and low for a prolonged period of time, it's time to seek more professional help. Any practitioner working with children and young people should know what to do. eg; a teacher or your GP. If the problem is more complex they may recommend further specialist services.
See the NHS website for information on dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency.
You should contact your local Children and Social Work Services immediately if you're aware of a child or young person at serious risk of harm.
If you think a child is immediate danger call the police on 999.