Website help for parents
Information and sources of support about common mental health issues
We have been asked if we are able to provide information, or links to organisations who provide advice and support for children, parents and carers regarding common mental health issues. We are pleased to provide some suggestions:
Support on a range of issues can be accessed at Young Minds, Mind, MindEd and ChildLine.
Please bear in mind we don’t have any control over the advice they give, and the resources they provide, but we feel that as nationally recognised bodies, their details are worth passing on.
For more specific advice :
Self-harm describes any behaviour where a young person causes harm to themselves in order to cope with thoughts, feelings or experiences they are not able to manage in any other way. It most frequently takes the form of cutting, burning or non-lethal overdoses in adolescents, while younger children and young people with special needs are more likely to pick or scratch at wounds, pull out their hair or bang or bruise themselves.
National Self-Harm Network: www.nshn.co.uk
Anxiety, panic attacks and phobias
Anxiety can take many forms in children and young people, and it is something that each of us experiences at low levels as part of normal life. When thoughts of anxiety, fear or panic are repeatedly present over several weeks or months and/or they are beginning to impact on a young person’s ability to access or enjoy day-to-day life, intervention is needed.
Anxiety UK: www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Bear in mind this is a members organisation
Obsessions and compulsions
Obsessions describe intrusive thoughts or feelings that enter our minds which are disturbing or upsetting; compulsions are the behaviours we carry out in order to manage those thoughts or feelings. For example, a young person may be constantly worried that their house will burn down if they don’t turn off all switches before leaving the house. They may respond to these thoughts by repeatedly checking switches, perhaps returning home several times to do so. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can take many forms – it is not just about cleaning and checking.
OCD UK: www.ocduk.org/ocd
Young people may experience complicated thoughts and feelings about wanting to end their own lives. Some young people never act on these feelings though they may openly discuss and explore them, while other young people die suddenly from suicide apparently out of the blue.
Prevention of young suicide UK – PAPYRUS: www.papyrus-uk.org
Food, weight and shape may be used as a way of coping with, or communicating about, difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours that a young person experiences day to day. Some young people develop eating disorders such as anorexia (where food intake is restricted), binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa (a cycle of bingeing and purging). Other young people, particularly those of primary or preschool age, may develop problematic behaviours around food including refusing to eat in certain situations or with certain people. This can be a way of communicating messages the child does not have the words to convey.