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How will I know if something is wrong?

Approximately 1 in 8 children and young people experience behavioural or emotional problems growing up. For many, these will resolve with time, while others will need professional support.

It can be really difficult as a parent to know if there is something upsetting your child, or whether this is maybe a mood swing or a sign of a hormonal/development change. There are ways to spot when something is wrong. Some things to look out for are:

  • Significant changes in behaviour, which are out of character for your child.
  • Ongoing difficulty sleeping and periods of exhaustion during the day.
  • Becoming withdrawn and removing themselves from social situations.
  • No longer wanting to do the things that they would usually like to do.
  • Self-harm, this may include making small cuts by scratching or using a sharp object, pulling out hair, aggressive outburst of bunching and hitting themselves.
  • Neglecting themselves, no longer wanting to bath or wash, clean their teeth or change their clothes.
  • A change in eating habits, a reluctance to eat, hiding food or binging and then being unwell or vomiting.
  • Expressing feelings of worry and concern on a regular basis, not wanting to be separated from a parent or carer, no longer wanting to attend school or leave home very often.    

The most important thing to remember is you know your child best, if you're worried, think about if there has been a significant change in their behaviour, that has lasted for an extended period of time. This could be at home, school or college; with others or on their own; or in relation to specific events or changes in their life, including changes caused by the pandemic.

If you're concerned or unsure, there is lots of support out there, including professional help. is a good place to find services in your area. You can also contact the Family Information Service and your Local Children Centre. Other useful sites include:

Useful sites and resources for your child:

Hwb Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit

Here you will find six playlists to direct you to a wide range of online resources to help you through the lockdown and beyond. In each of the playlists you'll find self-help websites, apps, helplines, and more that are here to support your mental health and well-being.

CALM HARM: Mobile App to help teenagers resist or manage the urge to self-harm (Free)




CHILDLINE: 0800 1111

HARMLESS: Offer advice and Information regarding young people who may self-harm or experience such thoughts.

YOUNGMINDS:  0808 802 5544

SELF HARM UK: Offers an online space to talk and ask questions about concerns in their life.

0300 5000 927

National Self Harm Network: NSHN is an online forum that lets you talk to other people in a safe, controlled environment.

THE MIX: 0808 808 4994

PAPYRUS: Papyrus HOPElineuk 0800 068 41 41

YOUNGMINDS CRISIS MESSENGER: Text YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support 

HEADSPACE: is a mindfulness app with lots of different programmes to support mental health

SANE: Saneline operates from 4.30pm to 10.30pm Daily for mental health support 0300 304 7000

WELLMIND: This App was developed by the NHS and helps with symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s a great way of keeping track of your thoughts and feelings.

CATCH THAT THOUGHT: This app is great to monitor difficult thoughts and emotions, when you experience them and where.

THE STRESS AND ANXIETY CAMPANION: The app encourages positive thinking through its simplified CBT process and helps you to understand triggers.

THRIVE: This app helps you collect your thoughts and understand your emotions.

MEIC: MEIC is the helpline service for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales. From finding out what’s going on in your local area to help dealing with a tricky situation, Meic will listen even when no-one else will. We won’t judge you and will help by giving you information, useful advice and the support you need to make a change -



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