Information for Parents and Carers: What to do if you are concerned about your child
‘We all have good days and bad days, but when negative thoughts and feelings start to affect your daily life and stop you doing the things you enjoy, or your ability to feel ok, this means you probably need some support with your mental health. For example, nearly everyone gets anxious before an exam, a job interview or a first date. But if we feel anxious all the time, constantly worrying that the worst could happen, and this stops us sleeping well or meeting up with friends, we might benefit from some help.’ – YoungMinds
There are a number of different factors which can influence a young person’s mental health. A lot of these can be associated with the stresses of being a teenager and the changes they may be going through. Below is a list of possible warning signs that may indicate that your child is struggling with aspects of their mental health or wellbeing. It’s important to remember that some of these signs are absolutely normal behaviours for teenagers to display and go through during adolescence – you know your child best and will know whether this behaviour is out of the ordinary and therefore requires extra vigilance. If your child is experiencing any of the following it doesn’t mean necessarily that they have a mental health problem but it’s likely that they will benefit from some support.
Possible warning signs:
- Evident changes in behaviour
- Evident changes in personality
- Changes in activity or mood
- A change in sleeping and/or eating habits
- Sudden or an increased gradual isolation from peers; becoming socially withdrawn
- Reduced concentration
- A lack of interest in things that the student used to enjoy
- Lowering of academic achievement
- Expressing feelings of failure
- Talking or laughing/joking about self-harm and/or suicide
- Secretive behaviour
- Obsessive behaviours or thoughts – having a constant feeling that there is something you need to do or thinking that something bad will happen
- Anger management issues
- Failure to take care in personal appearance and hygiene or obsessing over appearance
- Sudden changes in personality (for example feeling down and then the next day feeling extremely cheerful)
- Feelings of paranoia
- Excessive fears or worries
- Feeling hopeless – struggling to see the positives in life
- Numbness – not feeling any emotions at all
- Changes to eating patterns – children starving themselves, over-eating or making themselves sick
- Physical symptoms such as shaking and not wanting to make eye contact
- Experiencing nightmares, flashbacks or excessive thoughts
- Emotional outbursts for what may seem like no reason
If you would like some more information on self-care to support your child, please contact your child’s College in the first instance.
Directory of helplines and online services for students, parents and carers:
We’ve created a page for you in the hope that you will find some useful information about mental health and wellbeing for children, teenagers, parents/carers and our wider school community. This page can be accessed on the Wellbeing pages on the Frog platform.
On this page you will find links to all kinds of support including FREE APPS.
Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice on a local and national level.
Miss Condron and Miss Marsden update these pages on a regular basis.
Every parent/carer has login details to be able to access the Frog through the school website.
Please see the below guide on how to access the Frog platform and the pages and information we have made available.
YoungMinds – Parents A-Z guide to support:
YoungMinds have provided an A-Z guide which gives advice on how to help your child with their feelings, emotions and behaviour as well as mental health conditions and life events.
Please follow this link to the YoungMinds website to access their resources – Parents A-Z Guide to Support | Mental Health Advice | YoungMinds