Mental Health & Wellbeing - Supporting your Child
How to Support your Child with their Mental Health and Wellbeing
Please find below some advice for supporting children along with links where resources and support can be accessed.
The Anna Freud Centre Recommends:
- Be there to listen - Regularly ask how they're doing so they get used to talking about their feelings and know there's always someone to listen if they want it. Find out how to create a space where they will open up.
How to start a conversation with your child
- Support them through difficulties - Pay attention to their emotions and behaviour, and try to help them work through difficulties. It's not always easy when faced with challenging behaviour, but try to help them understand what they're feeling and why.
Help with difficult behaviour and emotions
- Stay involved in their life - Show interest in their life and the things important to them. It not only helps them value who they are but also makes it easier for you to spot problems and support them.
- Encourage their interests - Being active or creative, learning new things and being a part of a team help connect us with others and are important ways we can all help our mental health.
- Support and encourage them to explore their interests, whatever they are.
- Take what they say seriously - Listening to and valuing what they say, without judging their feelings, in turn, makes them feel valued. Consider how to help them process and work through their emotions more constructively.
- Build positive routines - We know it still may not be easy, but try to reintroduce structure around regular routines, healthy eating and exercise. A good night's sleep is also really important – try to get them back into routines that fit with school or college.
On My Mind
The Anna Freud Centre has produced a set of free self-care tools called On My Mind. They provide simple self-care activities which children and young people can do at home. Written by young people to help other young people who are feeling low or anxious. The strategies should also be useful to adults can be found here and cover the subject matters summarised below.
- Dealing with loss and bereavement
- Receiving Support
- Understanding referrals
- Managing social media
- Helping someone else
- Jargon Buster
- Shared Decision making
- Know Your Rights
Managing Worry - Alder Hay
Alder Hey have recorded some excellent videos about managing worry and anxiety. They offer practical advice as well as suggestions for coping strategies and it is completely free.
Childline provides online tools that children and young people might find helpful:
- Calm Zone - activities to let go of stress
- Games to take your mind off things
- Information and advice on topics from feelings, relationships, family and schools
- Peer support message boards
- Childline Kids, the website for under 12s concerns.
Kooth is an anonymous site which helps children aged 11+ and young people to feel safe and confident in exploring their concerns and seeking professional support.
The Lily-Jo Project is a book about how to talk to children about mental health.
Activities and Resources that you can do with your Child