During this cost of living crisis, we’re all juggling caring for our families with skyrocketing bills. But, even when the budget’s tight, your children’s wellbeing is still priority number one.
So, if you suspect that your child is struggling with their mental or emotional health, but pricey private therapy sessions are out of reach, what are you supposed to do?
Relying on overburdened free mental healthcare services like the NHS’s CAHMs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) can feel disappointing given the agonisingly long waiting lists. Fear not, though; there are ways you can support your child’s mental well-being yourself without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ll explore 10 affordable ways you can nurture your child’s well-being even during these financially challenging times.
#1: Look out for free resources
If only we had unlimited funds, we’d all have a squad of psychologists and private...
This month, the Youth Mental Health Foundation team have been delivering assemblies and workshops to primary schools in Devon.
Thanks to our funders, West Devon Borough Council, Teignbridge District Council, and North Yard Community Trust, we have been visiting local schools to build mental health resilience and self-esteem.
Our school assemblies and workshops have been designed, developed and delivered by Jade Sutton, aged 19, who has lived experience of struggling with, and recovering from, significant mental health challenges.
Earlier this month, Jade was interviewed on BBC Radio about winning the BBC 'Make A Difference Awards' for her work. You can listen to the interview by CLICKING HERE.
To date, Jade has spoken to over 35,000 young people with her powerful messages to:
Are you struggling to get your son to open up to you? You’re not alone.
It’s deeply worrying when your child isn’t communicating with you. The first thing to say is that, unfortunately, this is very normal. The cultural influences boys grow up around tell them to ‘man up’ when they’re struggling. The ‘boys don’t cry’ mentality has unsurprisingly made them hesitant to talk about their emotions. They often feel under pressure to be self-reliant, so reaching out for support can make them uncomfortable. This ‘macho-mode’ is all well and good until things start to go wrong and you can’t get your son to share his feelings.
The truth is, you can’t force your son to open up to you, and he doesn’t owe you access to his deepest feelings. You need to prove to him that you’re worthy of his confidence by investing time into building a deeper relationship with him. In The Horizon Plan, we call...
Zoom Parents Support Programme: Torbay
The programme will support 30 young people in Torbay struggling with mental health, but not qualifying for CAMHs support, by equipping their parents/carers to support their mental and emotional health and healing.
From lived experience, we have seen the importance of the parent/carer role in a young person's mental health recovery. This early intervention program will address early onset mental health problems in young people, resolving the problems or preventing their escalation within the family unit.
Our parenting programme provides:
1) Psychoeducation and skills training: guiding parents/carers to support the recovery of a young person suffering with their mental health using our evidence-based clinical intervention.
2) Parental self-care: teaching parents how to care for their own mental and emotional health to best support their child.
3) Navigating statutory support: Coaching parents/carers on how to access the support...
If you're the Mum or Dad of a young person who’s struggling with their mental health, you’ll be painfully aware that the services designed to help your child are buckling under the weight of the number of referrals they’re getting. This means that the burden of supporting your child is very likely being carried by you, perhaps alone. In the UK, the bleak reality of services like the NHS’s CAHMs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) is unbearably long waiting lists and usually only the most serious cases getting accepted.
So, there’s a good chance you’re feeling panicked, totally exhausted, perhaps even broken. Because while your child’s struggling, your own mental health has probably taken a back seat. It might feel selfish to think about caring for your own needs while they’re finding things so hard.
But this article will hopefully convince you that prioritising your own self-care isn’t...
Is your child struggling with their mental health? Are you looking to support your child, but need help and guidance?
Being the parent of a child who is experiencing a mental health crisis is devastating and complex. You are most likely in one of the most painful and difficult periods of your life.
We know how you feel, and want to assure you that you're not alone.
You'll desperately want to do EVERYTHING possible to support your child through this crisis, but there's a strong chance that you are feeling:
Most likely, you'll have reached out to your doctor, CAMHS or a healthcare professional to support your child's recovery. You want to help...
Over the last year, we have delivered mental health support to SEN Schools across Devon thanks to the generous support of Northbrook Community Trust.
Our ‘What’s Your Genius’ workshop is a fun, lively and interactive 2.5-hour session, where young people learn their unique thinking and learning styles (Genius types), gain confidence in their natural strengths, whilst at the same time learning to avoid comparing themselves with others.
The broader understanding and acceptance of all genius types enables participants to better understand and collaborate with others through teamwork.
The workshop stimulates participants to explore what they enjoy in life (their passions) and act in service to others to make this world a better place, to find happiness and realise their potential.
By shining a positive light on a young person’s unique strengths and abilities, the workshops aim to increase awareness, acceptance and understanding of neurodiversity,...
Trigger warning: This article discusses eating disorders and mental health in relation to young people. If you are affected by anything in this post, please refer to our free resources listed at the end of this article.
According to a 2023 study, there has been a large rise in eating disorder diagnoses and self-harm episodes amongst teenage girls in the UK in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Pearl Mok from The University of Manchester explains that “the reasons for the increase in eating disorder diagnoses and self-harm episodes amongst teenage girls during the pandemic are likely to be complex and could be due to a mixture of issues such as social isolation, anxiety resulting from changing routines, disruption in education, unhealthy social media influences, and increased clinical awareness.”
As a parent, it can be worrying to think that you may have missed the signs of an eating disorder. It is common for parents not to recognise the signs, especially...
Does this picture illustrate how you feel sometimes?
When your child is struggling with mental health and self-harm, it can feel overwhelming.
There’s a good chance that your head is full of unanswered questions, anxieties, worries, and ideas about things that you could do that might help your child. The problem is, when your head is swimming with questions and ideas, it’s like trying to juggle twenty balls at the same time.
Not only is this exhausting but it often leaves you frozen, not knowing what to do first.
We're here to support you.
We have helped hundreds of parents and carers to better support a young person struggling with mental health through our free online course 'The Horizon Plan'.
To join our free online course today, follow the link: https://www.youthmentalhealthfoundation.org/onlinecourse
Connecting with a community of like-minded parents in the same situation can allow you to feel less alone. We have an online community of parents/carers who are...
We want to say a huge thank you to the ongoing support of West Devon Borough Council and Councillor Tony Leech. Thanks to their funding, we have been able to deliver key mental health and well-being support to young people in West Devon at no cost to schools.
Our hugely successful assemblies and workshops have been designed, developed and delivered by Jade Sutton, aged 19, who has lived experience of struggling with, and recovering from, significant mental health challenges. To date, Jade has spoken to over 35,000 young people with her powerful messages to destigmatize mental health, build self-esteem and mental health resilience.
Thanks to West Devon Borough Council, we have delivered our assemblies and workshops to six more primary schools in West Devon since October, with several more schools booked for 2024.
Our assemblies and workshops aim to: