What should I do if my child tells me their struggling?
Thank them for sharing what’s happening with you, try and encourage that their openness and honesty is a very positive thing and acknowledge how they're feeling.
Let them know that you love them, you're there to support them and that they can talk to you, you are listening and ready to help and listen more when they need it.
Ask them if there's anything you can do to help or anything anyone else can do to help.
Spend time together thinking about what’s making them feel this way. Discuss whether there any changes that could have made them feel this way and think about the things you can do to help.
Let your child know about the helplines, textlines and online chat services that are available if they need to talk to someone outside the family. You can find a list of these above in Q3 Child and Young Person Section.
If you think your child needs professional support to feel better you can speak to your Child’s School or GP, who will be able to advice you on how to access mental health services. Together you can discuss whether referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), an assessment by a mental health specialist, or referral for another kind of support is needed. You can speak to your GP, school or local children’s centre with or without your child.
If your child needs emotional support and help to make sense of their feelings, they might benefit from seeing a counsellor or therapist. You may be able to access this for free through your GP or your child’s school. If it’s an affordable option, you can also consider a private child counsellor. To find more information about accessing counselling services contact your local CAMHS Team.