Mental health is the way children think and feel about themselves and the world around them. Your child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health, particularly when it comes to dealing with stress, behaviour, and their school life.
Not all mental health issues can be prevented, but you can take steps to help keep your child as mentally healthy as possible. The video session below explores some of the potential worries children may have and looks at how these could be managed. During the video you can pause at any time to take part in an activity below or watch a video clip in the tabs.
This session will cover
There are lots of ways you can support your child's mental wellbeing.
It's good to ask how your child is doing whether you are worried about them or not. This will help them get used to talking about their feelings and they will know that you are there to listen if they ever want you to.
Starting a conversation with your child can be tricky.
It's good to show an interest in your child's life and the things that are important to them. It will help them to value who they are and it will also help you to spot any problems so you can offer support if needed.
Take what they say seriously
Listen and value what your child tells you and try not to judge their feelings. Think about how to help your child work through their emotions.
If your child is worried you might find this support guide helpful.
Support them through difficulties
Pay attention to your child's behaviour and emotions and try to help them work through any difficulties. You might be able to help them to understand what they are feeling and why.
It can be hard to know how to offer support when faced with challenging behaviour. There is lots of helpful guidance available.
Encourage their interests
Support and encourage your child to explore their interests, whatever they are.
Being active or creative, learning new things and being part of a team can really help children's mental health.
Build positive routines
A good nights sleep is really important so try to get your child into a routine which fits in with school or college. It's not always easy, but try to introduce structure around regular routines, healthy eating and exercise.
Managing Our Emotions
The Traps We Fall Into
Activities To Do At Home
You can contact a member of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
You can also contact your GP, who can help you access support.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
For adults Qwell provides free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support for adults in Norfolk and Waveney from a professional team of qualified counsellors.
For 11–25 year olds Kooth is a free, confidential and safe way to receive online counselling, advice and emotional well-being support.
Childline - Children and young people under 19 can call 0800 1111 for free support.
Young Minds Parents Helpline - Call 0808 802 5544 for free Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.