Mental health plays a huge role in everyone’s lives, including children who may be struggling to cope with problems at home or at school.
Children’s Mental Health Week is marked in February (3-9) and although it isn’t always obvious when a child is suffering from poor mental health there are a few indicators that may help you as a parent, grandparent or carer. You may notice that a child in your care is:
- Becoming socially withdrawn and avoiding time with friends and/or family
- Not enjoying activities they used to like doing
- Changing their eating and/or sleeping habits
- More tearful or regularly upset
It can be really hard to accept that a child you look after is struggling with their mental health, and you may feel as if it is your fault.
This is completely understandable, but the most important thing you can do is provide them with reassurance, listen to them when they are ready to talk, and not judge them for how they are feeling.
It is also important to remember there is a wealth of support, advice and help available to parents on our website www.nspcc.org.uk or via the NSPCC Helpline on 0800 800 5000.
Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk 24/7, 365 days a year, and speak to a counsellor about a worry or concern they may have.
NSPCC Regional Head of Service
South West of England