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Supporting your child’s mental wellbeing

Smiling child climbing a tree

It’s tough being a kid. And as a parent, it’s not always easy to know what’s happening in their life.

You may be concerned about your child’s wellbeing if you’ve noticed:

  • Changes in their behaviour or moods
  • Changes in their school results or behaviour, or refusing to go to school
  • They’re not having contact with friends and have stopped doing things they enjoy
  • They’re staying in their room a lot, or you’re worried about their eating or sleeping habits

You can contact your family doctor and any other health professionals your child sees for advice. Your local needs assessment service coordinators (NASC) may also be able to help. Learn more about the NASC.

We’ve put together a few other places you can go to get information about supporting your child, as well as advice about when and where to get professional help. There are also some organisations young people may want to contact if they need someone to talk to but don’t feel they can talk with friends or family just yet.

Common Ground is a website for family, whanau and friends to help them support young people who are struggling with big issues like coping with family change, relationships, bullying, identity, stress and anxiety. It provides easy access to information, tools and support so you can help young people to manage hard times, enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing, and get the right kind of help when they need it.

The Mental Health Foundation provides information on mental health conditions, where to get help and how to support those you care about. They also have a section to help you find support groups, as well as a section to find counselling services.

0800 What’s Up is a free, counselling helpline for children and young people that’s available 1pm -10pm weekdays and 3pm – 10pm weekends on 0800 942 8787. Children and young people can also visit the What’s Up website and get tips about the ‘most talked about’ issues like bullying, making friends, and coping with feelings of sadness, loneliness or anger.

Skylight is an organisation that helps children, young people and their families cope with loss and grief. You can find lots of resources and activities especially for children on their website.

SPARX is an online e-therapy programme that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.

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