Parents and carers

Parents and carers play a significant part in a child or young person’s life, with the majority of parents and carers providing a secure base to support a child or young person’s move into adulthood.

Mental health is everybody’s business – individuals, families, employers, educators and communities all need to play their part. Good mental health and resilience are vital to our physical health, our relationships, our education, our training, and our work and in achieving our potential.

Are you worried about a child or young person?

If you are concerned or worried that someone is at risk of significant harm or in crisis (i.e.) has an urgent mental health need, please contact your local accident & emergency department, GP or contact us on 0344 800 8020.

YoungMinds provides advice, information and a telephone helpline service to parents and carers in the UK who have a concern about their child's emotional problems or behaviour.

How to help 

We all play a significant part in supporting children and young people’s emotional and mental health.

Children and young people tend to confide in people they feel most comfortable with, so if a young person comes to you, here are some practical things you can do to help:

  • Listen to what is actually being said
  • Recognise that they may not be able to say what the problem is so sometimes it is what isn’t said that is important
  • Accept what you are told –take anxieties and worries seriously
  • Be welcoming, be yourself
  • Be interested in them – ask ‘safe’ questions initially to help build a positive relationship
  • Provide an opportunity for the child / young person to talk if they wish to. They are more likely to open up if they feel comfortable with you so you might like to provide an activity that allows the conversation to take place in a relaxed way
  • Be observant
  • Keep an eye on any concerns you have and don’t ignore them
  • Keep a record of any concerns you have
  • Avoid judging or making assumptions
  • Know your limits and find out about other services, forms of support and referral routes which are available to you
  • Do ask for help – don’t keep it to yourself
  • Pick up the phone and call a service for a consultation

If you are concerned or worried that someone is at risk of significant harm or in crisis (ie) has an urgent mental health need please contact your local Accident & Emergency department, GP or local Safeguarding team on 0344 800 8020.

For more information on other family support services in Norfolk and Waveney visit the Heron website.

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