Juggling the different priorities of work and family life, especially during the pandemic, can cause heightened levels of stress. This can start to impact on the wellbeing of staff members who have parental responsibilities. On this page you will find information and resources on relationships, parental wellbeing, young people and children.
Research published by the Mental Health Foundation shows people who have stronger connections to loved ones, friends and family tend to be happier, have fewer mental health problems, are physically healthier and live longer. Happier relationships also contribute to lower stress levels and living in conflict or within a toxic relationship is more damaging than being alone.
If you're worried about your relationship and how it's making you feel, there is support available, click the button below to learn more.
Looking after your own mental health and wellbeing is an important part of being a parent and carer. Parenting is a full time job - as well as the rewards it can be tiring and stressful. If you feel low or stressed - it can feel even harder.
You may worry that you will be judged, and people will think you are not able to be a good parent because you are finding things hard.
Watch this short video by the Centre for Parent and Child Support below that provides a brief 'Being a Parent' summary:
Action for Children
Action for Children provide parenting advice on a wide range of issues.
Care for the Family
Care for the Family provides support specifically for single parents, couples, and those struggling with bereavement.
Co-Dependents Anonymous is a 12-step programme to improve relationships in which co-dependency has caused problems.
Contact a Family
Contact a Family provides support to parents caring for a child with a disability or specific health conditions.
Family Action assist families overcome the effects of poverty through providing practical, emotional and financial support.
Family Lives is a 24 hour helpline for anyone involved in caring for children, including within stepfamilies.
Gingerbread provides support for single parents through a listening service. They can provide advice on your rights and responsibilities as a single parent, as well as legal advice.
Connecting young people and their families with the mental health support they need. It includes information about mental health, digital tools for people across the UK, and innovative mental health services for young people in North West London.
Find parenting tips for all stages of your child's life, as well as advice on how to deal with difficult situations.
Follow this A-Z guide for advice on how to help your child with their feelings and behaviour, as well as mental health conditions and life events. You can also read the parents survival guide.
Youtube channel covers different topics relating to the challenges of parenthood.
Has expert-led resources that support parents and professionals in their work and home lives.
Supporting children and young people
During times of stress and crisis, it is common for children and young peope to seek more attachment and be more demanding on parents. Discuss with your children honestly and use age appropriate language. They will observe how you react and learn from that so try to remain calm and show them that things are going to be ok.
Help children find positive ways to express feelings such as fear and sadness. Every child or young person has their own way to express emotions. Sometimes engaging in a creative activity, such as playing, and drawing can facilitate this process. Children feel relieved if they can express and communicate their feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
Good Thinking: New mental wellbeing resource launched for children and young people
Good Thinking has recently published a mental wellbeing toolkit specifically designed to support children and young people.
Five Ways to Wellbeing for Children and Young People offers tips, advice and guidance to enable young people to seek support and resources to look after their own mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of friends. This includes advice on taking up a new sport or hobby, keeping active, learning a new skill or getting involved in their local community through voluntary work. In addition, they’ve also published Mental Health and Me a new guide designed to help Londoners boost their mental wellbeing.
If your child is struggling and needs some help, you may be feeling really worried and unsure where to start. Remember that you and your child are not alone.
Trying to find the right help for your child and finding your way around different services can be really tiring at times. Remember to look after yourself as you go – and to remind yourself that you're doing your best and it's not always easy.
Quick tips for accessing help
1. Make a note of your concerns
Before speaking to a professional, make a note of your concerns and the times you have noticed particularly worrying behaviours or feelings. You can do this really simply by making a list on your phone. You can then take this with you to appointments to give the professional a clear sense of your child's situation, and to support any requests for referrals.
2. Explore local services
If you're on a waiting list for help, explore whether there are services available locally that you might be able to access in the meantime. Your child might also be able to get more immediate online support from organisations like The Mix and Kooth. You can find other online services and helplines at the bottom of this page.
3. Try talking to other parents
As you find your way around local services, try talking to other parents who have been through this, or speak to any friends or family who might be able to advise you about where to get started. For example, if you know anyone who works in mental health support, they might have a good idea about what's available locally.
4. Follow up after the appointment
Where possible, follow up by email after appointments – for example with teachers or other staff at your child's school – to confirm what's been agreed. Then check in a week or two later to find out what's happened. This is a good way to keep things moving.
There is no better time to start a conversation with your child about mental health. Here are some questions you can ask to get the conversation going.
Speaking to professionals can sometimes feel daunting, and it might feel difficult to find the right words to explain what's going on or what help you think your child needs.
Your local GP can discuss concerns about your child's mental health, and could refer them to other services, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). You could access counselling through CAMHS and other NHS services.
Beat Eating Disorders
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Visit OCD Youth Support for young people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Me and My Mind
Me and My Mind is available for advice and support for young people struggling with unusual experiences, such as hearing voices.
Approved NHS app with confidential health advice and support for 16–25 year olds.
Kooth.com is an online mental wellbeing community where children and young people can access free, safe and anonymous support.
Best For You
Best For You includes information about mental health, digital tools for anyone in the UK, and personalised mental health services for young people in North West London.
YoungMinds are committed to improving the mental health of babies, children and young people, including support for parents and carers. 0808 802 5544 (parents helpline) 85258 (crisis messenger service, text YM)