We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe
Supporting Your Child
Many people experiencing a mental health problem will speak to friends and family before they speak to a health professional, so the support you offer can be really valuable.
What emotional support can I offer?
If someone lets you know that they are experiencing difficult thoughts and feelings, it’s common to feel like you don’t know what to do or say – but you don’t need any special training to show someone you care about them. Often just being there for someone and doing small things can be really valuable. For example:
• Simply giving someone space to talk, and listening to how they’re feeling, can be really helpful in itself. If they’re finding it difficult, let them know that you’re there when they are ready.
•Offer reassurance. Seeking help can feel lonely, and sometimes scary. You can reassure someone by letting them know that they are not alone, and that you will be there to help.
• Stay calm. Even though it might be upsetting to hear that someone you care about is distressed, try to stay calm. This will help your child or family member feel calmer too, and show them that they can talk to you openly without upsetting you.
• Be patient. You might want to know more details about their thoughts and feelings, or want them to get help immediately. But it’s important to let them set the pace for seeking support themselves.
• Try not to make assumptions. Your perspective might be useful to your child or family member, but try not to assume that you already know what may have caused their feelings, or what will help.
• Keep social contact. Part of the emotional support you offer could be to keep things as normal as possible. This could include involving your child or family member in family events, or chatting about other parts of your lives.
What practical support can I offer?
There are lots of practical things you can do to support someone who is ready to seek help. For example:
• Look for information that might be helpful. When someone is seeking help they may feel worried about making the right choice, or feel that they have no control over their situation.
• Help to write down lists of questions that the person you’re supporting wants to ask their doctor, or help to put points into an order that makes sense (for example, most important point first).
• Help to organise paperwork, for example making sure that your child or family member has somewhere safe to keep their notes, prescriptions and records of appointments.
•Go to appointments with them, if they want you to – even just being there in the waiting room can help someone feel reassured.
•Ask them if there are any specific practical tasks you could help with, and work on those.
• Learn more about the problem they experience, to help you think about other ways you could support them.
What can I do if someone doesn’t want my help?
If you feel that someone you care about is clearly struggling but can’t or won’t reach out for help, and won’t accept any help you offer, it’s understandable to feel frustrated, distressed and powerless. But it’s important to accept that they are an individual, and that there are always limits to what you can do to support another person.
Please do contact us if you would like to discuss any concerns you may have.
What Services are available?
CAMHS and Specialist Support
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.
Children and young people may need help with a wide range of issues at different points in their lives.
Parents and carers may also need help and advice to deal with behavioural or other problems their child is experiencing.
Parents, carers and young people can receive direct support through CAMHS.
CAMHS are multidisciplinary teams that often consist of:
• occupational therapists
• psychological therapists – this may include child psychotherapists, family psychotherapists, play therapists and creative art therapists
•primary mental health link workers
•specialist substance misuse workers
If you feel your child needs a referral to CAMHS, please contact us as we can support this. You can also speak to your GP.
More Information and Resources
Lots of helpful advice and resources for those experiencing low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.
Supporting children and families mental health.
Providing free information and resources for those interested in mental health and emotional well-being.
Email us in confidence, complete your details & the appropriate inclusion Team member will get back to you.